US advance, Messi stress, Wednesday finest bets

Teams A and B got here to an finish Tuesday with 4 groups advancing to the last-16… you might have seen the USA defeat Iran? Perhaps? Simply checking. Wednesday, in the meantime, sees Teams C and D conclude and each choice from group winner to early exit is on the desk for Lionel Messi and Argentina. No stress, then.

Be sure you verify in with ESPN all through the match as we carry you the newest from Qatar. Here is what you may need missed from Tuesday’s World Cup happenings, and a stay up for what’s subsequent on Wednesday.

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USA! USA! USA! (Additionally, England?)

Tuesday’s conclusion to Group B was stuffed with drama and stress, because it had been within the days main as much as the sport, however when the mud settled following two pulsating video games, England topped Group B with a moderately routine 3-0 win over Wales… AND THE UNITED STATES BEAT IRAN 1-0 TO ADVANCE TO THE ROUND OF 16!

That is the one outcome you got here right here for, proper?

Ultimately, Christian Pulisic’s courageous, close-range end (extra on him in a minute) proved sufficient to beat Group Melli, although the US had been clearly on high for a lot of the match in a welcome change to their attracts towards the Welsh and the Three Lions.

Tyler Adams anchored the midfield in live performance with Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah, not often permitting Iran an opportunity to settle in possession. Matt Turner made some large saves when referred to as upon, the protection of Tim Ream and Cameron Carter-Vickers held agency of their first time taking part in collectively, and Tim Weah had a purpose disallowed for offside on the finish of the primary half that might have made for a way more snug viewing expertise.

As for Pulisic, he got here off second-best in a heavy collision with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand whereas scoring the sport’s solely purpose within the thirty eighth minute. After medical therapy on the sideline — US Soccer later knowledgeable the media he’d been taken to hospital for “abdominal scans” — he gamely re-entered the sport to shut out the primary half, however was substituted at half-time given the extent of his harm. His standing is one to observe heading in the direction of Saturday’s last-16 conflict towards Group A winners, the Netherlands, particularly if the harm proves severe sufficient to maintain him sidelined.

However sufficient about that for now: the temper, and the vibes, within the US camp are sky-high following their deserved development to the knockout phases. (Weah even had a beautiful rendezvous together with his household, together with father George, additionally the president of Liberia, after the sport.) From right here, really something can occur. In a World Cup that noticed Saudi Arabia beat Argentina and Japan stun Germany, there are nonetheless loads of shocks to come back over the approaching weeks in Qatar.

(As a result of we talked about it, two objectives from Marcus Rashford and one from Phil Foden had been greater than sufficient to maintain England high of Group B with a rout of Wales, with all of the strikes coming after half-time. Gareth Bale was withdrawn by Wales supervisor Rob Web page at half-time, and their match is over. England face Senegal on Sunday of their last-16 conflict.)

However sufficient concerning the English: it is get together time within the USA for just a few days. Simply bear in mind to get some relaxation: Gregg Berhalters aspect kick off towards the Dutch at 10am ET on Saturday.

Messi’s date with future

The incandescent Lionel Messi’s job is straightforward: rating objectives, be a menace up entrance and assist Argentina advance out of Group C. Each choice is on the desk for the Albicelestes, who have not missed out on the knockout rounds since 2002.

Principally (although click on right here for each potential permutation and tie-breaker) the state of affairs is as follows:

  • Assured to qualify with a win vs. Poland, and can achieve this as group winners if Saudi Arabia draw/lose.

  • If Argentina draw, they’re assured to qualify if Saudi Arabia-Mexico draw.

  • If Argentina draw and Saudi Arabia win, Argentina are out (Saudi Arabia and Poland qualify.)

In the event that they lose, they go house early and provided that Messi stated pre-tournament that this is able to be his final World Cup, that is hardly how he’ll wish to exit. That stated, Poland (who at present high Group C with 4 factors from two video games) aren’t any slouches and provided that their all-world striker Robert Lewandowski lastly broke his scoring drought on the World Cup with a late blast to defeat Saudi Arabia, they are going to be extremely motivated to drag off a shock of their very own.


Immediately’s high reads

Why France and Brazil stay clear World Cup favorites
Regardless of the 2022 World Cup churning out a ridiculous quantity of upsets, drama and intrigue, one factor stays fixed: France and Brazil nonetheless seem like the most effective groups on the earth.

World Cup group stage deciders: Groups in bother, shock packages
Who has stunned to this point on the Qatar World Cup, and what drama will the ultimate spherical of group stage matches carry? Here is what the info exhibits.

Lisandro Martinez profitable over Argentina simply as shortly as he is achieved at Man United
The defender confronted loads of questions when he joined Man United, solely to change into one in all their key cogs. Now he is doing the identical with Argentina.


Your finest bets (odds by way of Caesars Sportsbook)

Should you’re seeking to guess on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to provide you key tips about odds, choices and futures. Here is what now we have for the Wednesday matches.

Group C

Saudi Arabia (+390) vs. Mexico (-150), Draw (+290)

Dalen Cuff: I’ve no clue how the beneath is +110. Mexico are devoid of a striker and creating legit possibilities is so tough for them. Mexico has to win to have any likelihood of advancing. Saudi Arabia does need to attempt to win, as a draw wouldn’t be sufficient by itself and issues would doubtless come all the way down to purpose distinction with Poland. So perhaps this sport shall be open and extra possibilities than I count on… however can both staff really capitalize? I do not suppose so, I will take beneath 2.5 objectives at +110.

Paul Carr: I do not perceive why the beneath is plus cash both. Mexico’s protection has been good, permitting solely 11 photographs, and their assault has been poor, taking solely 15 photographs. There have been a complete of two.3 anticipated objectives in Mexico’s two video games to this point, and this must be extra of the identical. Go along with beneath 2.5 objectives (+110), and I am additionally tempted by the Saudi Arabia double likelihood (+115), contemplating Mexico’s attacking woes.

Daniel Thomas: Mexico have been so poor to this point and I am struggling to see any purpose they could get any higher. I might take the beneath objectives right here, too. I do not suppose that is going to be a sport for the ages.

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Gab Marcotti examines the impression Argentina’s win over Mexico can have on Lionel Messi and his teammates.

Poland (+650) vs. Argentina (-215), Draw (+305)

Cuff: Robert Lewandowski lastly scored for Poland in a World Cup. It was lengthy overdue for one of many nice strikers on the earth, however I do not see him scoring right here. Argentina will dominate the ball, perhaps needing extra magic from Lionel Messi. In a decent one, I believe they win to nil (+113).

Carr: Sure, Poland beat Saudi Arabia and scored twice, however that was removed from a convincing efficiency, flattered by the present of a second purpose. Poland was outshot 16-7 and conceded extra anticipated objectives. I’ve Poland penciled in for zero objectives, and Argentina will discover a strategy to win, so I am once more going with Dalen on an Argentina win to nil.

Thomas: Nicely, then. Regardless of the 2 objectives within the second half towards Mexico, Argentina have labored to this point within the match. I’ll go for a shock Poland win.

Group D

Tunisia (+550) vs. France (-185), Draw (+290)

Cuff: France is flying and accidents have been no situation. They’ve already certified (and are very prone to win the group, barring a loss and an enormous Australia win) so I am concerned with seeing their lineup. If Kylian Mbappe begins, which I believe he’ll, I’ll play him to attain anytime (+110). I am additionally prone to lay the -1.5 unfold (+145).

Carr: I am additionally not taking part in this sport till I see the lineup, though France is deep sufficient that it most likely does not actually matter. Tunisia nonetheless has one thing to play for, however I do not see France giving them an opportunity. I am most likely staying away from this one, however I lean towards France overlaying the 1.5 objectives.

Thomas: France have seemed like among the finest groups in match to this point. I count on them to win this sport 2-0.

Australia (+575) vs. Denmark (-205), Draw (+310)

Cuff: Denmark have been one of many extra disappointing groups within the match. Their path ahead is obvious: win this sport by a minimum of two objectives and they’re by. In any case, Tunisia is not beating France to complicate issues. The Danes will push and the Socceroos will sit, believing a draw is all they want. I believe that is going to be a decent, low-scoring affair. Take beneath 2.5 at -115.

Carr: 4 years in the past, Denmark wanted a draw within the group finale towards France, and the Danes scraped out a boring 0-0 draw that had a mixed 0.6 anticipated objectives. Yawn. I anticipate Denmark doing precisely what is important once more this 12 months. I believe Denmark wins this to nil (+125).

Thomas: I’ll take Denmark right here, however not by a lot. Let’s go together with Denmark to win by one purpose (+210).


Information and notes

  • A Qatari official concerned within the group of the nation’s World Cup has said the variety of employee deaths associated to the match for the primary time. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary normal of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy, stated there have been “between 400 and 500” deaths within the build-up to the World Cup. However that determine has not been beforehand mentioned by Qatari officers, because the launched quantity by the federal government has put the variety of deaths at 40.

  • Match ball know-how has proved conclusively that Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t make any contact with the ball in Portugal’s opening purpose towards Urugay. FIFA and ball producers Adidas confirmed to ESPN that the Related Ball Expertise which has sensors, confirmed no exterior drive. “The 500Hz IMU sensor inside the ball allows us to be highly accurate in our analysis,” learn a press release from FIFA. The purpose was awarded to Bruno Fernandes, who stated “I celebrated [the goal] as if it had been Cristiano’s goal. It seemed to me that he had touched the ball. The most important thing is that we achieved our aim, which is to be in the next round.”

  • The protester who invaded the pitch throughout Portugal’s sport towards Uruguay whereas carrying a delight flag has been launched with out being charged. Mario Ferri, who stopped the Group H match within the second half, was additionally carrying a T-shirt carrying the messages “respect for Iranian women” and “save Ukraine” earlier than he was led away by safety employees and was detained. On his Instagram web page, Ferri wrote: “A message for Iran…..where women are not respected. The world must change, we can do it together with strong gestures that come from the heart with courage. FIFA banned rainbow captain bands and human rights flags in the stands, they blocked everyone but not me.”

  • France head coach Didier Deschamps has stated that Karim Benzema’s reported return from harm to play within the World Cup is “not something that’s in my mind.” The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner suffered a thigh harm in coaching a day earlier than the match began, and studies advised that the Actual Madrid striker might make a return. “You’re looking for things,” Deschamps stated on Tuesday. “It’s not something that’s in my mind, you know the situation. I spoke with Karim before he left, you know his situation and the time he needs to recover. I don’t know where you want to go with your question.” Deschamps’ aspect will look to finish a clear sweep within the group stage after they face Tunisia on Wednesday.


What else caught our eye

Belgium want a win on Thursday if their World Cup journey goes to proceed, and Eden Hazard was fast to clap again towards criticism from teammate Kevin De Bruyne that their staff is “too old” to make a deep run.

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1:03

Eden Hazard speaks on rumours about changing-room turmoil and reacts to Kevin De Bruyne’s feedback on the Belgium¬† staff being “too old” to win the World Cup.


Matches on faucet for Wednesday

Group D: Tunisia vs. France (Schooling Metropolis Stadium; 10 a.m. ET)

The defending champions France have already booked their place within the final 16, whereas Tunisia sit backside of the group and should beat the heavyweights to have any likelihood of constructing it by to the knockouts. Tunisia are nonetheless on the lookout for their first win within the match, and even when they had been to stun the French, knockout qualification will depend upon Australia’s outcome towards Denmark.

Group D: Australia vs. Denmark (Al Janoub Stadium; 10 a.m. ET)

Each groups wish to ebook their place within the final 16 after they play one another. Australia are coming off a win towards Tunisia after shedding to France of their first sport, whereas Denmark are but to win a sport within the match. A draw or win for Australia will ship them by, and Denmark will want a win to qualify.

Group C: Poland vs. Argentina (974 Stadium; 2 p.m. ET)

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski will go face to face to steer their nation into the knockout stage. It has been a topsy-turvy journey to this point for each gamers, Argentina struggling a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia earlier than profitable towards Mexico, and Poland coming off a 2-0 win vs. Saudi Arabia after drawing towards Mexico. For Lewandowski and co., a win or draw shall be sufficient to undergo, whereas Argentina should win, a draw leaving them relying on the result of Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

Group C: Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico (Lusail Stadium; 2 p.m. ET)

It is all to play for in Group C on Wednesday. Followers are used to seeing Mexico within the spherical of 16, however El Tri are going through elimination within the group stage for the primary time since 1978 forward of Wednesday’s match towards Saudi Arabia. Mexico shall be by in the event that they win and Poland draw Argentina, and if Argentina beat Poland, Mexico might want to win by 5 objectives. In the meantime, can Saudi Arabia produce one other upset? They’re assured to qualify in the event that they win.