After a turbulent two weeks of World Cup group stage excitement, the knockout stages are set to kick off tomorrow. Argentina vs Australia will be the second fixture of the day.
The groups have hosted some of the biggest World Cup upsets, with Thursday’s spectacle involving Germany, Spain, Costa Rica and Japan certainly going down in history as the former were knocked out of the tournament at the group stage for the second time in a row. Meanwhile, Argentina couldn’t have started their tournament any worse after they were narrowly beaten by Saudi Arabia, however Lionel Messi’s hopes are still alive after they won their remaining games and finished top of Group C.
Australia were able to put on a stellar couple of performances themselves as they cruised to qualification after beating both Tunisia and Denmark to claim second place in Group D. The Socceroos have only ever reached the Round of on one occasion - finishing ahead of Croatia and Japan in the 2006 World Cup and later losing to Italy in the first round of knockouts.
As Argentina prepare to take on Australia this weekend, Lionel Scaloni’s team will be hoping they can avoid another upset and progress to the quarter-finals, with a potential tie against either Netherlands or USA in their sights. Here is everything you need to know about tomorrow’s match.
When is Argentina vs Australia?
Argentina will face Australia tomorrow (Saturday December 3) in the second World Cup knockout match, with kick off scheduled for 7pm. It is the second of two games tomorrow, with Netherlands and USA kicking off the Round of 16 at 3pm. The clash will take place at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan as it plays host in its final game of the tournament after previously featuring five group stage matches.
How to watch on TV
The UK broadcasting rights for the World Cup are shared between BBC and ITV this winter, with both of tomorrow’s matches set to be shown live on BBC. Argentina vs Australia will be broadcast on BBC One, with coverage following the conclusion of Netherlands vs USA. Fans can also catch the action via the BBC iPlayer app or the BBC Sport website on your mobile or tablet device.
Argentina don’t have any fresh injury concerns to worry about, however Scaloni could look to switch up his team given the quick turnaround between games. Lisandro Martinez missed out on their win over Poland but could return to the line-up, while Nicolas Tagliafico will be targeting his first start since the defeat to Saudi Arabia. Enzo Fernandez’s impressive cameo appearances in their first two fixtures will likely be rewarded this weekend, while Lautaro Martinez and Julian Alvarez are likely to battle it out for a place in the attack alongside Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, Australia are unlikely to make too many changes to the side that beat Denmark, with Nathaniel Atkinson and Fran Karacic vying for a return to the line-up. Keanu Baccus enjoyed an impactful second half appearance last time out and could make his first start of the tournament in place of Craig Goodwin.