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World Cup 2022 Preview: France Advancing While the Rest of Groups C & D Descend into Chaos.

Argentina vs Poland headline Group C while Australia looks to hold tight to the second spot in Group D

Poland v Saudi Arabia: Group C - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

We’re knee deep in it, y’all. This is the part of the World Cup where it turns brutal; expect to see true heart and soul left on the pitch as many nations look to punch their ticket into the knockout round. Essentially, the majority of countries need to view each match now as a final because so far, of the teams playing on November 30th, only one is guaranteed to move forward: France.

Argentina will be swinging for the fences to make sure Messi has a chance to fight Canelo Alvarez potentially win his first World Cup, while Mexico will be scrounging for a solid win and hoping for an Argentina loss to bump up to second place. Meanwhile, Group D will see Australia placing their destiny entirely in their own hands: win and they’re in, or draw and hope for some fairly certain results in the France/Tunisia match.

Here’s a detailed look ahead at the final match day for Groups C and D of the 2022 World Cup:

Tunisia vs France — 10 a.m.

How to Watch

FS1, Telemundo, Peacock (premium)

The Matchup

Expect to see a heavily rotated squad throughout this match for a French side who was the first to qualify for the knockout stage. Tunisia, on the other hand, will be throwing everything they have at France in hopes of the Australia match going in their favor and then taking second place on goal differential. It’s a tall task against the toughest opponent in Group D, but if this World Cup has shown us anything so far, it’s that anything can happen.

Player to Watch: Youssef Msakni

Tunisia v Australia: Group D - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Youssef Msakni has been a surprising bright spot in the attack for an otherwise stingy Tunisian side that focuses heavily on defense. They’ll have to unleash him, though, if they have any hopes of bumping up to 2nd place. Unfortunately, a win may not be enough, as they’ll be looking to the other Group D match for favors.

Australia vs Denmark — 10 a.m.

How to Watch

FS1, Telemundo, Peacock (premium)

The Matchup

Australia has a simple task: win and they’re in. Denmark, on the other hand, is in a similar position to the aforementioned Tunisia. They need to blow the socks off Australia and get some help from France to keep their World Cup hopes alive. This entire group could come down to the wire, though conventional wisdom would say the chances of France giving up much of anything to Tunisia is slim to none. Still, never count out what a worried first team with everything to lose could do to a resting second team with nothing to lose, and Denmark are actually the favorites to win this one.

Player to Watch: Christian Eriksen

France v Denmark: Group D - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Christian Eriksen needs to come alive for this match. He hasn’t had a terrible tournament thus far, but the lackadaisical performances of his team haven’t done much to highlight his own work. That’ll need to change, though, because Australia’s defense is also stingy and won’t be ripe to give up anything easy in this one. Eriksen needs to lock it down in the midfield, which is the understatement of the century, and find a way to get ahead in opportune moments where he can try to find the back of the net.

Poland vs Argentina — 2 P.M.

How to Watch

FOX, Telemundo, Peacock (premium)

The Matchup

An angry Argentina is a concerning thought for any team facing La Albiceleste, but Poland is coming off a match where Robert Lewandowski scored his first World Cup goal. If we know anything about Lewy, it’s that once he hits a stride, he scores goals at will. Poland haven’t looked remotely close to being a dominant team, though, and while Argentina’s movements have, at times, seemed rather trivial, they still have the skill to slice a defense wide open. Neither team can afford to have any lack of urgency on the ball, however, because a Mexico win against Saudi Arabia could throw this entire group into hell on earth. Both teams will be looking to keep it simple for their own future by winning, as a victor in this one would be guaranteed to go forward to the knockout stage.

Player to Watch: Lionel Messi

Argentina v Mexico: Group C - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Take your pick, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are two of the most prolific goal scorers in the world, but this has the potential to be the last time we ever see Messi in the World Cup. Give this man a moment, an inch of space, and we all know he can make magic happen, so keep an eye on him regardless of how the rest of Argentina is playing.

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico — 2 p.m.

How to Watch

FOX, Telemundo, Peacock (premium)

The Matchup

It was recently announced by TUDN that regardless of Mexico’s finish in this tournament, our old friend Tata Martino won’t be returning as manager of El Tri. Tata is the kind of manager that’ll find a way to shut everyone up at minutes to midnight, but Mexico needs a miracle to survive. Specifically, Tata needs to figure out a way to actually get his forwards involved in the match. Unfortunately, nothing they’ve shown so far gives any indication they’ll get a result, much less a staggering win, over a Saudi Arabia side that has looked legitimately solid. The Saudi’s, on the other hand, have a very good possibility of moving forward with a win of their own, and we’ve seen how they aggressively they can play. This one has all the makings of a true scrap.

Player to Watch: Hirving “Chucky” Lozano

FBL-WC-2022-MATCH24-ARG-MEX Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

If Mexico has any chance to make it out of this group, they’ll need a bit of help from Poland. However, they’ll need to do their own part first. Mexico’s attack has looked absolutely miserable in the tournament, and that isn’t actually their striker’s fault. Chucky Lozano has been running around up top waiting for the ball, and the only way it gets served to him is via a long ball from the back. The midfield needs to get involved and work the ball up to Chucky so he can be more involved in a way other than the attempted recipient of a Hail Mary.