While all eyes are locked on the Socceroos they will have to keep an eye on the other match from time to time, with France potentially helping Australia.
Also, if the Socceroos make it to the qualifying stage, their opponents in the round of 16 will be decided from 06:00 AEDT – and things could get Messi.
Follow the FIFA World Cup including Tunisia v France (02:00 AEDT), Poland v Argentina (06:00 AEDT) and Saudi Arabia v Mexico (06:00 AEDT) on our live blogs below!
Watch the world’s best football players on Kayo every week with beIN SPORTS. LIVE from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
MORE FOOTBALL v DENMARK
FLAMMABLE QUESTIONS: Brutal election call Arnie MUST make; How Australians stopped Danish ‘sorcerer’
‘THIS IS NOT TRUE’: Arnie drops extraordinary Australian football truth bomb
Dutch fail to beat Qatar in horror WC | 00:38
TUNISIA – FRANCE [2am AEDT] – Preview (via AFP) and live blog
France coach Dider Deschamps made nine substitutions in the match against Tunisia, with only Raphael Varane and Aurelien Tchouameni retaining their places.
Tunisia itself also made six changes to their squad in hopes of causing a stunning upset on the defending world champions.
Deschamps declined to talk about Karim Benzema after the injured Ballon d’Or winner was seen on vacation to the Indian Ocean island of Reunion following his retirement from the World Cup.
The Real Madrid striker left the French squad with an injury to his left thigh on the eve of the tournament and left the team hotel in Qatar soon after.
He arrived at Reunion, a French overseas department, early Tuesday morning after rumors he could return to training with his club in Spain.
Sources close to Benzema said that the actor will stay on the island for a week. Deschamps declined the question when asked if Benzema, who was still officially part of the France squad at the World Cup, had not been replaced.
“You’re hunting things down there, but that’s not on my mind. «I don’t know who said what, where or how,» the French coach said at a press conference in Doha before the final group match against Tunisia on Thursday.
I spoke to Karim after we left and you know what his situation is and how long he will be out.
«I’m focusing on the 24 players here. I’ll let you talk about it and discuss it if you want, but I’m not going to talk about things here that don’t affect what we do every day.
The French Football Federation said that Benzema will be out of the field for three weeks after his injury, so technically, if France goes this far, he can return until the end of the World Cup.
France have won both Group D matches against Australia and Denmark so far in the tournament, and a draw against Tunisia will guarantee their progress to the last 16 as the winners of their division.
Even one loss would suffice as long as Australia doesn’t beat Denmark and manages to reverse the goal difference advantage of France, who are now six points ahead.
As such, Deschamps is expected to change his roster and tour some of his sideline players before a draw in the Round of 16 on Saturday or Sunday.
«Knowing that we finished like Brazil and Portugal gives us more room to make changes, but we certainly shouldn’t devalue this third game,» Deschamps said.
«We have to try to get the best possible result without having to do it. It’s a World Cup game and it’s important to keep our dynamic.»
With 10 French-born players on their roster, Tunisia must win the match at the Education City Stadium to have a chance to progress, but they have never beaten the two-time world champions team before.
«The message I want to convey to my players is that nothing is impossible. «We are still alive,» said Tunisian coach Jalel Kadri.
Follow Tunisia v France on our live blog below!
Rashford leads England to beat Wales | 01:18
POLAND – ARGENTINA [6am AEDT] – Preview (via AFP) and live blog
Polish coach Czeslaw Michniewicz says Argentine star Lionel Messi is football’s answer to ski master Alberto Tomba.
Speaking ahead of Poland’s final World Cup group stage match against Argentina in Doha, Michniewicz said his side should surround him to stop Messi.
«Messi on the pitch is like Alberto Tomba on the slope, he can run away from everyone like Tomba, he can get past anything,» said Michniewicz.
«That’s why we have to put the players around Messi because if he beats[them]easily, he will score easily.
One player can’t stop Messi, we have to get the players around him.» Still, Michniewicz says that may not be enough.
The whole world has been thinking about how to stop Lionel Messi for years and he has scored dozens of goals and assists.
«I think we will never find the final answer to this question.»
Poland has its own star forward in Robert Lewandowski, who follows in the footsteps of Barcelona’s darling Argentine, where he has scored 18 goals in 19 games this season.
Many have billed this as the conflict between Messi and Lewandowski, but Michniewicz doesn’t believe it.
«This isn’t just a match between Lewandowski and Messi, it’s not tennis,» the coach said.
«Robert needs his teammates, just as Leo needs his own. We trust these great forwards, but they can’t win on their own.»
Michniewicz admitted that as a fan he has long supported Argentina, but said he would not have conflicting feelings during Thursday’s match.
“Since I was little, I have always supported Argentina. They have great fans, a great team, great personalities like 1978’s Mario Kempes, and other players.
«There have been many ups and downs, but I have always supported Argentina, if not tomorrow.»
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has admitted he has a soft spot for fierce rivals and neighbors Brazil, who have already qualified for the qualifying stages.
“I am South American and I am happy that Brazil is over. I am the biggest fan of South American football,” Scaloni said.
“If it’s not Argentina, I would prefer a South American team to pass, those who think otherwise are wrong.
«They (Brazil) are doing really well and I congratulate them.»
Having lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their first match in Group C, Argentina is at risk of missing the qualifying rounds.
They need to beat Poland to secure a place in the last 16, where they have a chance to face the reigning champions France, who knocked them out in the same stage four years ago.
However, the winner of Poland-Argentina will most likely face the second-placed side in Group D – which will be Australia if they score at least one point against Denmark.
When asked if he wanted to avoid playing against France, Scaloni said: «We have to get over it first. Then we’ll see who we get.
“While nothing is to be taken lightly, there is still a long way to go.”
Follow Poland v Argentina on our live blog below!
Captain America packs Iran | 00:44
SAUDI ARABIA – MEXICO [6am AEDT] – Preview (via AFP) and live blog
Coach Herve Renard urged his Saudi Arabian players to leave their mark and be remembered «forever» at the World Cup in Qatar.
French Renard’s team speech that excited Saudi Arabia’s shocking victory against Argentina at half time became legendary.
A short clip of Renard firing 1-0 against Lionel Messi’s penalty at the World Cup halftime – they bounced back to win 2-1 – became a viral hit.
He admitted that team talks have not always had such a dramatic effect.
«I agreed to have the communications department record a minute (at halftime), so I was lucky today because it worked,» Renard said at a press conference before Saudi Arabia played Mexico in their final group game.
«But I’ve been coaching for over 20 years and I can say with great humility that unfortunately it didn’t always work!»
Given that his team’s comeback is against Messi, one of the greatest players the world has ever known, «there is a huge impact, it will stay forever,» Renard said. «At least someone remembers me.»
Saudi Arabia, which beat Argentina but then lost to Poland, must beat Mexico in their last Group C match on Wednesday to secure a place in the knockout rounds.
He reminded that Saudi Arabia last reached the second round 28 years ago, in 1994.
«It’s a very good generation for our players, but they have to make history if they want the fans to remember them, otherwise everyone will forget it in 20 or 30 years,» Renard said.
Getting into the knockout stage could be very special for Renard, given the possibility that his side will face France.
«Of course I know the draw, it would be a lie if I said I didn’t try to draw,» he said.
«Let’s focus on qualification, let’s put all our energies into achieving that and if you’re here tomorrow and it does happen, I’ll say with a big smile that it’s going to be a great match.» With Saudi Arabia on the verge of a historic elimination, Renard was asked if the Mexico match was the biggest match of his life.
However, he emphasized that it was more important to win two finals in the African Cup of Nations, with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015.
«These are meetings you shouldn’t ruin, or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.
«Regret is the most harmful thing you can have in life and you should always be positive.»
Follow the Saudi Arabia v Mexico match on our live blog below!
#Matchday #live #updates #scores #results #start #times #Tunisia #France #Poland #Argentina #Saudi #Arabia #Mexico #Socceroos