The 2022 FIFA World Cup has already proven something of a landmark tournament on many levels, not least due to its unseasonal start but also thanks to a series of unexpected results that have rocked world football.

Fortunately, a bastion of the game by the name of Lionel Messi has helped to steer Argentina back from the brink following their shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia earlier in the competition.

Messi Makes a Massive Impact

This is Messi’s fifth and final World Cup finals, and he will no doubt have featured heavily in terms of the World Cup betting for millions of punters, so the sight of the 35-year-old firing in a long-range effort against Mexico will have satisfied many.

The PSG man scored a penalty in that loss to Saudi Arabia but arguably didn’t do a lot else besides, though that is very much in keeping with the overall mediocre displays from Lionel Scaloni’s side thus far.

Against Mexico, they were well off the pace, and the first half of the encounter was infinitely forgettable, and it took Messi to put the South American side back in control as he expertly found the back of the net from distance. 

Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez scored a delightful second to give Argentina all three points and, in doing so, kept their chances of making it to the Round of 16 entirely within their own hands.

In the group’s other game, Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0, with one of the two goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, the Barcelona man’s first-ever World Cup goal.

That means that the group is wide open, and whoever wins in the match between Argentina and Poland will make it through, though, in theory, they could both still qualify depending on the result between Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Mbappe Continues to Shine

In Group D, Didier Deschamps once again has Kylian Mbappe to thank as the PSG man scored twice to defeat the Danes and book their place in the knockout stage. Denmark had fought their way back into the game, with former Chelsea man Andreas Christensen netting from a corner to level the game.

Mbappe then scored from close range to secure the win, having combined superbly with Theo Hernandez for his first.

At the start of the competition, Mbappe was one of the leading players in terms of the World Cup odds in the Golden Boot race, and he is now very much leading the pack. You can still get a healthy 11/4 from BoyleSports on the French forward, and that’s well worth considering as he already leads the way with three goals, level with Ecuadorian Enner Valencia. 

Australia beat Tunisia in the other group encounter.

Germany Face Spain In Must-Win Clash

If you placed a World Cup bet on Germany to see their half-time lead over Japan extinguished by the full-time whistle, then you will have earned a small fortune as the loss wasn’t one that many would have predicted.

Now Hansi Flick’s team goes into the group’s glamour tie with Spain knowing that anything less than a win will leave their World Cup hopes in tatters.

Spain started their World Cup with a fine 7-0 win over Costa Rica, and a draw against Germany would probably be enough to get through, even before they take on Japan in their final match.

This means you can expect Germany to come out fighting, and this is a game that millions will eagerly watch. In our mind, the game is almost destined to end in a stalemate but one that is sure to get very feisty indeed.

The 15/2 offered by Grosvenor Sports on a draw and over 4.5 cards is worth taking a punt on.