Poland – Saudi Arabia Predictions
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Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia
Date: 26.11.2022 | Match at: 14:00 | League: WORLD CUP – ROUND 2 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.34 | Bookie: Unibet.
Match Preview Poland – Saudi Arabia Predictions
- Despite being the fifth-highest paid 2022 FIFA World Cup player, decorated striker Robert Lewandowski was unable to give Poland a first winning opener in the competition proper for 48 years, failing from the penalty spot in their goalless Group C clash vs Mexico. In turn, they risk emulating the Poland teams of 2002 and 2006, which started with successive blanks and added further to what is currently a 36-year wait for progression from the group stage.
- With popular outright picks and two-time world champions Argentina still awaiting them, redemption must come quickly against Saudi Arabia. A failure to bounce back in the second match of ‘Russia 2018’ was ultimately Poland’s undoing four years ago, but their sole win of that tournament notably came against another AFC (Asian) zone team, 1-0 vs Japan.
- Like Japan were in 2018, the Saudis are FIFA’s worst-ranked team in Poland’s group, but a side composed entirely of domestic league system players will approach this clash with supreme confidence. The only participant to share a border with hosts Qatar, Saudi Arabia stunned Copa América holders Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday, while also becoming the first team post-war to beat the Albiceleste after a half-time deficit in the World Cup finals.
- More than 100 minutes of die-hard commitment against one of the pre-tournament favourites suggests the Saudis could go on to survive the group stage for only a second-ever time. The Green Falcons did so on their competition debut in 1994, which also saw a 1-0 victory over Belgium in Washington – still the nation’s only success at the finals against a European outfit.
- Given that, any victory would represent another huge act of defiance, especially as it’s been nothing but despair in the face of UEFA-zone opposition during subsequent editions, with seven defeats ‘to-nil’ spanning the past quarter of a century. The worst of those remains an 8-0 loss to Germany in 2002 – a margin still unmatched by any World Cup game this century, but it is something Hervé Renard’s men look well-placed to avoid repeating here.
- Players to watch: Jakub Kamiński (5 caps, 1 goal) is the youngest Polish player in Qatar – but superstitious types should note that he was born the day after Poland’s only World Cup loss to Asian opposition in June 2002! As for Saudi Arabia, Salem Al Dawsari netted decisively against Argentina, making him only his nation’s second player – after Sami Al-Jaber (1994-2006) – to score at multiple World Cup finals.
- Hot stat: Post-war, Poland have never recorded a score draw in the World Cup proper (W16, D6, L11).
- World Cup trivia: On 5 June 1938, exactly 64 years before Kamiński’s birth, Ernest Wilimowski of Poland became the first player to hit 3+ goals in a World Cup match and still lose! He did so in a 6-5 loss to Brazil.