Mexico v. Poland
How to watch: 11 a.m. Eastern. Fox, Telemundo, Peacock (free).
How they match up: The winner will gain an early — and, perhaps, decisive — advantage toward advancing to the knockout stage from Group C behind the favorite Argentina. Contrary to popular belief, Poland does have players beside its superlative striker Robert Lewandowski (though it sure would be amazing with 11 Lewandowskis), and it would be served best both if Lewandowski can tally his first World Cup goal and the cluster of talent around him — namely, Piotr Zielinski — coalesces to alleviate the scoring pressure.
On balance, Mexico, known as El Tri, is stronger at midfield and in the back end, but it lacks a Lewandowski of its own. El Tri failed to beat the United States and Canada during World Cup qualifying, scoring just twice across those four matches. Without the injured striker Jesús Corona, Mexico’s output, against Poland and in the tournament at large, hinges in part on the fitness of Raul Jimenez, who has been slowed the last two-and-a-half months by a persistent groin injury.