La Albiceleste were on the receiving end of one of the tournament’s biggest ever shocks in their opening match.
Argentina lost 2-1 to a well-drilled Saudi Arabia, with the Asian side scoring two goals in the space of five second half minutes.
Captain Lionel Messi had put his team 1-0 up early on from the penalty spot, but their surprise collapse means they simply have to beat Mexico in their second match.
If Argentina lose, flights home will be booked. If they’re held to a draw, qualification to the knockout stage will be very, very difficult indeed.
Saturday’s late kick-off promises to be one of the most intense matches of the Qatar World Cup thus far.
And things have already started getting nasty between the two sets of passionate fans.
Rather damning footage has emerged from Qatar in which Argentina and Mexico supporters fight one another.
The reason? Because the Mexicans were chanting “F**k Messi” at their rivals.
Video: Brawl between Argentina and Mexico fans in Qatar
💥SE ARMA LA BATALLA CAMPAL 🥊MEXICANOS🇲🇽 CONTRA ARGENTINOS🇦🇷
A unos cuantos días del partido de México 🇲🇽 vs Argentina 🇦🇷 los ánimos ya se comienzan a calentar…🔥 pic.twitter.com/bI8hwOPH6B
Wow. Not a great look – and you dread to think how bad things could get between them if Mexico inflict another defeat on Argentina.
That’s certainly not outside the realms of possibility either.
Yes, Mexico were pretty unconvincing in their 0-0 draw with Poland, but their team is loaded with quality – Hirving Lozano and Edson Alvarez the two standout names.
What does Messi think of Mexico ahead of crunch match?
Back in September, Messi spoke about coming up against Mexico in Qatar and he was full of praise for the successful North American nation.
LEIPZIG, GERMANY – JUNE 24: Lionel Messi of Argentina is put under pressure by Zinha, Gerardo Torrado and Gonzalo Pineda of Mexico during the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Round of 16 match between Argentina and Mexico played at the Zentralstadion on June 24, 2006 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said, per AS: “Then comes Mexico, a great rival that plays soccer very well. We have already faced them several times in World Cups and we know that they play very well, but we don’t think more than that, we have to go game by game.
“I think we have put together a nice team, very strong and we know how to play every game. The biggest difference is having the luck to win the Copa America. The World Cup it is very difficult, the small teams can leave you out of the tournament, but this team is here to compete and beat anyone.”
Messi was part of the Argentina team that beat Mexico 3-1 in the last-16 of the 2010 World Cup, Carlos Tevez (x2) and Gonzalo Higuain the scorers on the night.