Image Credits: @Socceroos
Lionel Messi's Argentina will be taking on Australia in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Last time Argentina's campaign came to a halt at this stage, whereas Australia have never reached beyond this round. We take a look at five major talking points ahead of the clash.
Image Credits: Argentina/Twitter
Marcus Acuna Or Nicolas Taglifiaco? Marcus Acuna came in the place of Niclas Tagliafico as a substitute in the first game, and started the next two games. But against Poland, Acuna's offensive ability came under the scanner, as he was unable to capitalise on the space and time he had on his side. Tagliafico may be given a start ahead of him.
Image Credit: @FIFAWorldCup
Is Angel di Maria Fit To Start? Angel di Maria limped off the field in Argentina's 2-0 win over Poland. Di Maria, who was diagnosed with a contracture in his left thigh, might not be playing against Australia.
Image Credit: @Socceroos
Harry Souttar & Matt Ryan Masterclass? It was Harry Souttar's masterclass in defence, coupled with great saves from Matt Ryan that helped Australia maintain a slender 1-0 lead against Denmark. They stepped up again, against Denmark, and will be itching to put up a show against Lionel Messi & Co.
Image Credit: @Argentina
Will Scaloni Persist With Rodrigo de Paul? Rodrigo de Paul was the most crucial component in the Argentine midfield, but in the first two matches, his performances left a lot to be desired. Lionel Scaloni might not take a risk and start Leandro Paredes ahead of him.
Image Credit: Socceroos/Twitter
Australia To Go Full Defensive Mode? We have seen lesser-fancied teams often go in full defensive mode in knockout stages. We might be up for another cagey clash where Australia will defence in the low-block, but Argentina have someone like Messi to unlock the space.
Thanks For Reading
FIFA World Cup 2022 Prize Money: How Much Winners Will Take Home?