On day seven of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, talents like Christian Eriksen, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, and Lionel Messi will be on show. Four things to watch out for are listed below:
1. Target-seeking in Australia and Tunisia
Tunisia deserves praise for keeping Denmark to a scoreless draw in their opening game, but Jalel Kadri’s team could muster just one chance on goal at Education City stadium.
Issam Jebali was the lone center striker in Kadri’s starting lineup for the match against the Danes.
Australia’s 4-1 loss to France in the tournament opener showed that they, too, lacked an offensive spark despite a goal from Craig Goodwin early on.
In an effort to strengthen his attack, manager Graham Arnold might start either 18-year-old Central Coast Mariners forward Garang Mawien Kuol or winger Awer Bul Mabil of Cadiz.
2. Lewandowski’s lack of goals
Lewandowski struggled to find the back of the net at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and his struggles on the game’s grandest stage persisted in Qatar 2022’s opening game.
The Barcelona striker missed a penalty in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw between Mexico and Poland, giving him yet another squandered opportunity.
The 34-year-old will be eager to end his goalless streak against Saudi Arabia as Poland strives for a victory that would give them a chance to advance to the round of 16.
A Saudi Arabian team that offered Lionel Messi few chances in a shock 2-1 victory against Argentina in their opening encounter will stand in his and Poland’s way.
3. Argentina faces pressure
For Argentina to have any hope of moving on to the knockout round, they must defeat Mexico in their match at Lusail Stadium.
As he looks to re-energize an attack that was unable to get past Saudi Arabia’s high press, manager Lionel Scaloni may start Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez.
Gerardo Martino, the manager of Mexico, will be hoping his team can maintain the form they displayed in the second half of their opening game, when they surrounded Poland’s defense and were unlucky not to score.
4. France: A rising power
The defending champions have had a mixed recent record, but they demonstrated their ability to shift gears when it mattered by outlasting Australia in the tournament opener despite a shaky start.
Marcus Thuram and Kingsley Coman are starting on the bench against the Socceroos, giving manager Didier Deschamps a wealth of options in attack despite the absence of injured striker Karim Benzema.
If Denmark is to have any chance of making it to the round of 16, players like Christian Eriksen, Andreas Skov Olsen, and Kasper Dolberg will need to play better than they did in their opening match against Tunisia.