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Poland vs Saudi Arabia World Cup Picks and Predictions: Both Sides Break Through

After a 0-0 draw to open the tournament, Poland's Robert Lewandowski is still seeking his first ever World Cup goal. He'll get his chance against the upstart Saudi Arabia team that upset Argentina. Can both offenses find success?

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2022 8:35 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Robert Lewandowski Poland World Cup
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In a whirlwind start, Group C has wasted no time in delivering drama in the 2022 World Cup — and Saudi Arabia, fresh off a stunning 2-1 win over Argentina, will look to take another step towards qualification against Poland on Saturday.

The Green Falcons pulled off a dazzling second-half comeback on Tuesday to seal one of the World Cup’s biggest ever upsets and end the Argentines’ 36-game unbeaten run. Suddenly, expectations have gone through the roof.

That could spell trouble against a hungry Poland team that needs a big response here after a 0-0 draw and a Robert Lewandowski penalty miss in their tournament opener against Mexico.

Check out our World Cup picks and predictions to get the lowdown on this Saturday, November 26 matchup.

Poland vs Saudi Arabia odds

Poland vs Saudi Arabia picks and predictions

The Poles enter their second group match in desperate need of three points, with a clash against Argentina on deck in their final group game — and I’m expecting Lewandowski & Co. to bring a more adventurous approach this weekend. 

While Poland might have snatched a victory against Mexico if their star striker had been more clinical from the penalty spot, the numbers show that Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men were on the back foot for long periods (just 39% possession). Too often, Lewandowski was isolated up front, with tactics focused on defending deep and launching quick counter attacks.

But circumstances have changed with the Group C's new complexion. Look for the Poles to find better balance across midfield and help Lewandowski finally register his first World Cup goal. That could include a bigger role for Arkadiusz Milik, who came off the bench against Mexico.

I like these BTTS odds just as much from the Saudi Arabia side of things. Salem Al-Dawsari’s wonder strike against Argentina earned him hero status back home (and even prompted a national holiday), and the Green Falcons should be able to capitalize as Poland chase a victory. Their game plan should shift a little more towards attacking without the threat of Lionel Messi to worry about at the other end.

Whether Poland bag a win or have to settle for a share of the points again, these are solid odds for both teams to find the back of the net.

My best bet: Both teams to score (-106 at bet365)

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Poland vs Saudi Arabia side analysis

Few gave Saudi Arabia a shot to outduel Messi and Argentina, but a disciplined 4-1-4-1 formation got the job done despite having just 31% of the possession. The task ahead is no easier here as a meeting with Lewandowski brings its own challenges.

Poland are the favorites for Saturday’s clash, given their higher world ranking to go along with the Lewandowski factor, and it feels right not to overreact to Saudi Arabia’s opening win. Coach Herve Renard will have faced a tricky few days while attempting to refocus the squad after the euphoria of such a legendary result — and there’s still a talent gap to overcome.

But the benefits of Saudi Arabia’s extended preparation for the tournament were very evident on Tuesday. Renard’s side was sharper and well-drilled, following the game plan precisely — and the Green Falcons looked fresher in the final 30 minutes as Argentina tired. If Poland grab the lead on Saturday, Saudi Arabia should have enough gas in the tank to fight back.

There’s decent value in the draw here — which would be another big dent in Poland’s hopes of reaching the knockout rounds but a result that would suit Saudi Arabia just fine. 

Poland vs Saudi Arabia Over/Under analysis

A goalfest appears unlikely on Saturday after Saudi Arabia managed just two shots on target in the win over Argentina and Poland played out a 0-0 scoreline against Mexico. But there’s enough attacking quality in this matchup to keep the goalkeepers busy.

It’s worth repeating that Poland will have to come out of their shell in this showdown. That means better service for Lewandowski and a commitment to getting more players into the box. Look for more adventurous substitutions in the second half if the game remains tied.

Both teams are happiest when sitting back, soaking up pressure, and targeting gaps on the counter attack, but I still like the Over here. Confidence is sky-high for Saudi Arabia and striker Saleh Al Shehri opened his account for the tournament against Argentina. Al-Dawsari and Feras Al Brikan offer a goal threat from the wings.

Another fun subplot is Lewandowski’s quest for his first World Cup goal. He won’t get many better chances than this against a back line that rode its luck against Argentina and was rescued by the offside flag and VAR a handful of times.

Poland vs Saudi Arabia game info

Location: Education City Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2022
Time: 8:00 a.m. ET
TV: FOX, TSN

Poland vs Saudi Arabia key injuries

Poland: No injuries reported.
Saudi Arabia: Yasser Al Shahrani LB (Out).

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