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Argentina vs Australia, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Al Rayyan, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

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Star

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Revived Argentina have ideal Round of 16 opportunity against surprise package Australia

  • Argentina recovered from initial defeat to win final two games of their group
  • In finishing at the top of Group C, they avoid playing France at this stage
  • Australia surprised everyone by beating Denmark in their final game to finish 2nd

Argentina to win 3-1

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Rayyan, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

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Both Argentina and Australia escape their groups in dramatic circumstances, reaching the Round of 16 after some impressive recoveries along the way.

Argentina were part of one of the greatest-ever shocks at a World Cup, losing to Saudi Arabia in their opening game. Since then, Lionel Scaloni’s men have recovered to edge past Mexico and Poland in tense victories.

Now, with some momentum finally behind them, they face one of the lowest ranked nations left in the competition. They won’t be taking anything for granted, of course, not with so much at stake here.

Australia have surprised everyone with how they’ve progressed to the Round of 16. 

They’ve only reached the knockout stages on one occasion previously, back in 2006. Now, they’ve done the improbable and finished ahead of Tunisia and Denmark in Group D. 

Their confidence will be sky high ahead of this one and you wouldn’t bet against them causing Argentina problems.

Argentina Preview

FIFA Ranking: 3

Predicted Finish: Semi Finals

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Have a great chance of making the Quarter Finals

     Key players like Messi and Alvarez are coming to the fore at the right time

Reasons to be fearful:

     Have had just two days’ rest ahead of this game

     Defence hasn’t been fully tested yet

Often, World Cup winners are phenomenal right from the start of the tournament all the way to the final.

Sometimes, however, they face a blip or two early in their campaign that they must overcome and work their way into the competition.

Argentina are hoping that they fall into the latter bracket, having lost their opening game against Saudi Arabia, before going on to qualify at the top of Group C. They remain many people’s favourites to lift the trophy.

While much of that is probably down to Messi’s enduring magic, key players across the squad are starting to fire. Julian Alvarez, Enzo Fernandez and Alexis Mac Allister are among those to grow into the tournament.

Now, it’s all about overcoming an opponent that the world will expect them to beat, even if it won’t be quite as straightforward as that. Australia have sprung surprises before and they can do so again if allowed.

Star Man – Leo Messi

Will have been frustrated at the chances he missed in the final group game against Poland, including a penalty. You feel that he needs to be at his very sharpest if Argentina are to win this tournament.

Australia Preview

FIFA Ranking: 38

Predicted Finish: Round of 16

Reasons to be cheerful

     Have the surprise element about them having got this far

     Can cause this unsettled Argentina defence problems

Reasons to be fearful

     Have lost each of their last four games against Argentina

     Were defeated comfortably against last big opponents, France

Those doubting Australia must ask: they’ve got this far, so why can’t they go further?

Aside from being on the receiving end of a drubbing by France in their first game, they’ve looked solid and organised, beating both Tunisia and Denmark in unlikely circumstances.

Beating the Danes in their last game was a particular surprise, given that their opponents were contenders to go far in the tournament beforehand.

The manager has a couple of selection issues on his mind. Goodwin was replaced after a poor first half against Denmark, so Baccus could continue in his place. Degenek took up the right back position ahead of Atkinson and Karacic in their last game too.

Star Man – Mitchell Duke

The quiet, talented striker has made an impression at this World Cup, going about his work with great effort. His winner against Tunisia helped set Australia for progression to the knockout phase.

     Argentina will control possession

     Messi should convert a chance or two

     Australia must hit them hard on the break

Australia don’t need to look too far for inspiration here, having watched Saudi Arabia beat Argentina earlier in the tournament.

In that game, the Saudis were happy to allow Argentina control of the ball before hitting them quickly on the counter. That will surely be Australia’s tactic here too.

Argentina know what they must do also. They will have possession for large spells of the game and will be tasted with breaking down a resolute Aussie bunch.

If Messi and co. find the breakthrough early on, this should be their third victory in a row at this competition.

Argentina to win 3-1

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Author: Ross B.