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World Cup 2022: Why to expect a Lionel Messi goal against Poland

World Cup 2022: Why to expect a Lionel Messi goal against Poland

Argentina will look to secure their place in the last 16 when they face Poland in their final group game at Stadium 974 on Wednesday.

There are a number of permutations that will come into play in the final group meeting, but Poland know they will be guaranteed a place in the last 16 with a win or draw, while victory would prevent Argentina from relying on the result of the game involving Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

As the South Americans attempt to avoid an early exit, they will be looking towards the leadership and extraordinary talent of Lionel Messi to guide them to the knockout rounds.

The 35-year-old travelled to Qatar in fine form after registering 12 goals and 14 assists across 19 appearances for PSG this season.

In his opening two games of the World Cup, he scored from the spot in a surprise 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia, before producing a sublime effort from the edge of the box in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Mexico.

Lionel Messi scores for Argentina against Mexico at the World Cup on November 26, 2022© Reuters

As a result of those two strikes, Messi moved level with Diego Maradona and Guillermo Stabile as Argentina’s joint second-highest scorer at the World Cup with eight goals, and he will now be targeting the record held by Gabriel Batistuta, who found the net on 10 occasions at the tournament.

The PSG forward has equalled his longest scoring run for his country after finding the net in his last six games for Argentina.

That impressive run of form began with a five-goal haul against Estonia, which enabled him to rack up 12 goals in his previous six international appearances

Messi will now attempt to find the net in a seventh successive game for his country for the first time in his career, while he is also seven adrift of reaching the 100-goal milestone for Argentina.

While Wednesday’s meeting with Poland could potentially be his final World Cup match of his career, Messi will undoubtedly do everything in his power to help his country progress to the last 16.

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