Lionel Messi and Argentina will take on Australia in the Round of 16 World Cup games. Before a single ball was kicked in this extremely contentious competition, Lionel Scaloni’s Copa America champions were listed as one of the pre-tournament favorites. Expectations were dampened by a shocking loss to Saudi Arabia, but Argentina bounced back to win their group by defeating Mexico and Poland. No one in Australia had given us a chance, asserted Graham Arnold. And it was just about making it to the championship round. The Socceroos advanced to their second-ever knockout stage match at a men’s World Cup after victories over Tunisia and Denmark in Qatar by scores of 1-0 each.
Argentina team news
As usual, Lionel Messi has been the center of attention for Argentina’s training program. Throughout the group stage, claims that Messi had been working out alone repeatedly surfaced. Any lingering concerns about Messi’s fitness have been quickly allayed by both Argentina’s coach and the captain himself. After experiencing pain in his quadriceps during the match against Poland, Angel Di Maria was substituted as a precaution. After the game, Scaloni emphasized, “Di Maria is good.”
Australia team news
Arnold should have a full roster available for this weekend’s big encounter against Argentina. The first 26-man contingent included Martin Boyle, who was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. But the Hibernian winger, who uses crutches, has remained in Qatar to serve as the group’s “vibes manager.”
Argentina vs Australia World Cup score prediction
Argentina’s imperious aura entered the competition, but it has been dispelled by Saudi Arabia’s victory. With each trip into the desert, Scaloni’s side has improved though. Australia has benefited from some remarkably effective finishing; Craig Goodwin and Mat Leckie (who scored the game-winning goal against Denmark) both scored with their tournament-only shots, inspiring riotous scenes of jubilation at home.
Prediction: Argentina 2-1 Australia
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