Lionel Messi begins his final World Cup with high hopes for Argentina and a tricky test from Saudi Arabia in Lusail on Tuesday.
Messi’s nation is one of the favorites to go far in Qatar and the one-time finalist would love to add a World Cup to his glittering resume.
Saudi Arabia’s close to home and a tough nut to crack, scrappy and capable of hanging in any game.
Saudi coach Herve Renard is well-experienced on the stage and may have a surprise in store for Group C, where his completely Saudi-based squad has been training together for some time.
How to watch Argentina vs Saudi Arabia live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 5am ET, Tuesday
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: TelemundoStreamingen Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
Can Saudi Arabia slow Messi, let alone Lautaro Martinez, Paulo Dybala, et cetera, et cetera?
Will this be the blast-off for the international careers of Alexis Mac Allister or Julian Alvarez?
And can a Saudi player catch the eye of the international community and even draw the player away from the nation’s domestic league?
Argentina quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez
Saudi Arabia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais
This article is originally published at nbc.com