ARGENTINA face Australia TONIGHT as they look to progress to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Lionel Messi and Co will not find it easy facing the Socceroos who are on a high after beating Denmark to qualify for the last-16.
The South Americans have put together a good run of results after losing to Saudi Arabia on the opening group match.
And they must be in form if they are to progress past a resilient Australia side, with a solid defence marshalled by Harry Souttar.
This will be the first time since 2006 that Australia have reached this stage of a World Cup, and only the second time in the nation’s history.
Graham Arnold’s men will be hoping to go one step further than 16 years ago however which saw them narrowly lose to eventual winners Italy at this stage.
How did they get here?
Argentina fell victim to the first of many huge upsets in the tournament as far, with Saudi Arabia stealing a shocking 2-1 victory from the grasps of the Lionel Scaloni’s side in their opening fixture.
However they bounced back impressively winning their next two games 2-0 against Mexico and Poland respectively to finish on top of Group C
Australia began their campaign in similar fashion, losing 4-1 to reigning champions France after going a goal ahead.
But like their opposition, consecutive wins in their final two games over Tunisia and Denmark meant Australia qualified in second place, just missing out on top spot due to goal difference.
Both sides are set to have fully fit squads to choose from when they face off in the last-16.
However, with such a short turnaround to games, the managers could opt to make several changes ahead of the clash.
Lisandro Martinez could return for Argentina while Nicolas Tagliafico will also aim to start ahead of Marcos Acuna at left-back.
Enzo Fernandes has impressed in recent games and will be hoping to beat Leandro Paredes to a place in the starting XI.
For the Socceroos, Aaron Mooy will be hoping to keep his place while Mitchell Duke will look to lead the line after impressing during the tournament so far.
Who will be the star men?
Lionel Messi, who will be playing his 1000th career game, has undoubtedly been Argentina’s star man for the last decade, and the PSG forward has continued to impress during the tournament, winning the man of the match award against Mexico.
Premier League duo Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez will also be looking to capitalise on their good performances against Poland which saw them grab a goal each.
Australia’s Harry Souttar has been their star man of the tournament so far, with the defender keeping a tight ship at the back.
Despite conceding four goals to France in their opener, Souttar has played an integral part in helping Australia keep consecutive clean sheets for the first time at a World Cup.
What’s the head to head?
The last-16 clash will be the first time the two sides have met in 15 years, with their 2007 match ending in a 1-0 victory for Argentina.
It’s the South American side who have the better record between the two, coming out with five wins from seven matches as well as one draw and a single Australia victory in the first meeting between the pair in 1988.
Argentina 2 Australia 0
When is Argentina vs Australia?
- Argentina face Australia TONIGHT – Saturday, December 3.
- The match will kick-off at 7pm UK time.
- The last-16 clash will be held at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.
What channel is it and can it be live streamed?
- Argentina vs Australia will be shown live in the UK.
- Viewers can tune in to watch live on ITV 1.
- You can live stream the action from the ITV X app, which is available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
- Coverage of the game will get going from 6pm GMT.
Can I watch for FREE?
- Yes, you can watch Argentina vs Australia for FREE, so long as you have a TV licence.
- Argentina – 2/11
- Draw – 6/1
- Australia – 14/1
- Argentina to qualify – 1/25
- Australia to qualify – 10/1
*Odds courtesy of Betfair and correct at time of publication.
Source: The Sun
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