Argentina v Australia: Messi’s men to ease through
Argentina v Australia betting odds, tips and predictions
Argentina’s early scare can be forgotten about now the knockout stage is under way and they are one of the favourites in the World Cup betting to go all the way in Qatar.
Another upset will see them eliminated now though and Australia will hope to follow Saudi Arabia’s example as they return to the knockout stage for the first time since 2006.
Saturday’s match at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium kicks off at 7pm and is live on the BBC.
Early scare may be for the best
Argentina were in danger of early elimination from the World Cup after their shock 2-1 defeat to the Saudis in their opening game.
Barring that poor second half when complacency was perhaps an issue, Argentina have been impressive in Qatar having beaten both Mexico and Poland by 2-0 scorelines.
Second-half goals from Premier League duo Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez ensured Argentina progressed on Wednesday night after Lionel Messi had a controversial penalty saved by Wojciech Szczensy.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 30, 2022
Manager Lionel Scaloni said: “Maybe we didn’t play that well against Saudi Arabia but we had the chances to win. We ended up losing so all matches are tough and if you think that the match against Australia is going to be easy you are wrong.
“When you are defeated you have to move on, you can’t keep thinking about that defeat – we had two more games to play and we have gone through now. We knew we had to win the remaining games.”
Lionel Messi will be playing his 1,000th match and continues to pull the strings for Argentina and his movement can cause problems for limited opposition.
Messi to score first and his team to win in 90 minutes is the first of our Argentina v Australia betting tips at 11/5.
Aussies to buckle
Australia reached the knockout stage for only the second time in their history with a stunning 1-0 win against Denmark, having also beaten Tunisia by the same scoreline.
Mathew Leckie finished a brilliant counter-attack on the hour to score the only goal at the Al Janoub Stadium and secure second place in Group D behind champions France.
We stayed up all night to get Leckie 😏
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) December 1, 2022
This feels like a free hit for Australia, who are 16/1 underdogs and have achieved their main aim already.
They will hope to frustrate Argentina for as long as possible but may eventually wilt under such sustained pressure, as they did when losing 4-1 to France after taking an early lead.
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication