Argentina started the 2022 World Cup as one of the favourites. In fact, while Brazil remained at the top of the outright market, their fellow South Americans started to shorten in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Suddenly, following that shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia, Saturday’s game against Mexico (7pm Saturday; TV: Live on ITV) is looking like a ‘must win’ for the Argentines.
Mexico and Poland drew 0-0 later on Tuesday and you feel that neither side will make the same mistakes when it is their turn to face the Saudis. Defeat, therefore, would surely send Argentina home.
The bookmakers aren’t expecting any more surprises. Argentina head into the match as clear favourites with many outlets going in at 8/15. The draw is next at best industry odds of 3/1 while victory for Mexico is on offer at a general 5/1.
Mexico held Poland, but they could have slipped to defeat had Robert Lewandowksi not suffered a rare penalty miss. This was a game of ‘two halves’ to an extent with Mexico looking sharper in the first period before the Poles threatened more extensively later on.
As for Argentina, that loss to Saudi Arabia was fully deserved. After taking an early lead through Lionel Messi’s spot kick, they seemed to sit back after having a second goal disallowed for offside.
Of course they can win, but it will need a big improvement from the 1978 and 1986 World Champions.
Messi landed that opening goal from 12 yards and he is the favourite to open the scoring on Saturday at best odds of 3/1. Argentine team mates Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala follow, with both men available at 11/2.
The first representative from within the Mexican camp is Raul Jimenez, the Wolves striker who is on offer at 9/1 in most places.
Behind the main strikers, there are options in midfield and further back. For Argentina, Angel Di Maria now has 27 international goals and he is quoted at best odds of 10/1. In the Mexican camp, Hirving Lozano was earmarked for a big money move to Europe for many years. He is currently with Napoli and the winger has 16 goals in 61 games for his country. Lozano is available for Saturday’s tie at a top price of 12/1.
Moving away from player betting, Both Teams to Score is on offer for this game at best odds of 3/4 while the ‘no’ vote on BTTS this lifts the figures to a top price of 6/5.
On to Total Goals now and a stake Over the 2.5 line would currently be paid at a best of 11/10. By lifting that up a notch, we can claim a top price of 14/5 to go Over the 3.5 line.
The alternative could be to go Under the 2.5 goal line and those expecting a dull 90 minutes can get odds of 3/4 for this selection.
This Argentina vs Mexico preview will finish off with some Correct Score selections and, if you feel that this will be a more comfortable 90 minutes for Argentina, a 3-1 win for Lionel Messi and his men can be claimed at a best of 14/1. A 2-1 victory for the Mexicans is listed at a best of 20/1 while the 2-2 draw can also be backed at those best odds of 20/1.
Our Argentina vs Mexico Preview’s Betting Tips Verdict
The Total Goals markets are interesting here. Clearly the bookies are looking at a quiet game, because it is rare for the Over 3.5 bet to go as high as 14/5. That is maybe to be expected based on the opening games in this group. In two combined games, Argentina and Mexico scored just once.
For long periods of time, neither Argentina nor Mexico looked particularly threatening up front, but we suspect things will be different next time. It is a match that the teams dare not lose, but a draw will be of little use, so they will have to go on the attack at some point.
Over 3.5 goals is our first pick so where should we go next? The match result market is just too unpredictable. Argentina may be the clear favourites, but how confident are we about backing a team that has just lost to 33/1 outsiders Saudi Arabia?
Both Teams to Score looks sound and the 3/4 odds aren’t the worst, but we’ll finish in the first goalscorer market. Lionel Messi is an obvious pick but he is carrying this Argentina team to an extent. As long as he can continue to carry that pressure as the man most likely to rescue his team’s World Cup, he should deliver. So these are the betting tips for this Argentina vs Mexico Wrld Cup game preview: