Live updates: Argentina vs Australia and more 2022 World Cup news

Gamers shake arms previous to the match between Argentina and Australia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Saturday. (Mike Hewitt/FIFA/Getty Photos)

The World Cup has hardly been simple for Lionel Messi and Argentina to date, however they’re robust favorites forward of their Spherical of 16 recreation towards Australia.

The Socceroos had been a shock package deal within the group phases, qualifying for the knockout rounds in Qatar courtesy of 1-0 victories towards Tunisia and Denmark.

Argentina, in the meantime, bounced again from a shock opening defeat towards Saudi Arabia with 2-0 wins towards Mexico and Poland.

A demanding schedule means the groups have had simply two days to organize for Saturday’s recreation on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Regardless of having a penalty saved towards Poland, Messi has performed an important position in Argentina’s match, scoring twice – together with an outstanding strike towards Mexico – and offering one help.

Defeat Australia – which Argentina has carried out in all however two of the edges’ earlier conferences – and the Netherlands await within the quarterfinals.

Do not rule out an enormous shock, although: This World Cup has already thrown up a number of upsets, as Saudi Arabia demonstrated in its aforementioned stunner towards Argentina. Because of this, supervisor Lionel Scaloni is taking nothing as a right.

“Australia is an efficient group,” he instructed reporters on Friday. “That is soccer, it’s important to depart theoretical favoritism to the facet and play.

Can Australia’s sterling protection proceed? The problem of making an attempt to maintain a 3rd consecutive clear sheet on the match can be a tall order with Messi on the pitch.

“It’s going to be a troublesome recreation, clearly, taking part in towards in all probability the perfect footballer ever to grace the sport,” defender Milos Degenek mentioned on Friday. “Other than that, it’s 11 towards 11. There aren’t 11 Messis, there’s one. We all know their squad is stuffed with stars.”