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Argentina vs Australia: Socceroos Journey Surely Ends Here

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated December 1, 2022
12 min read
  • Argentina won Group C despite that shock loss to Saudi Arabia on matchday one
  • Australia exceeded expectations by finishing runners-up to France in Group D
  • The Socceroos have done brilliantly but their campaign looks set to end on Saturday

Argentina vs Australia Odds

The odds for Argentina vs Australia have been taken from the Unibet Sportsbook, where you can get a $250 risk-free bet today.

Asian Handicap


Argentina -2.5


Australia +2.5


Argentina vs Australia Pick

Back Argentina -2.5 in the Asian handicap. The Abliceleste have found their rhythm and we fancy their chances of registering a comfortable victory over Australia.

Argentina vs Australia Predictions

Argentina vs Australia Predictions

Argentina Bounce Back From Stunning Upset To Top Group C

In the end, Argentina made it through to the knockout stage of World Cup 2022 pretty comfortably. A shock early exit was a very real possibility when Lionel Scaloni’s side suffered a stunning 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest upsets in the history of this competition. But consecutive 2-0 victories over Mexico and Poland saw them advance as Group C winners.

That defeat by the Saudis threatened to throw Argentina’s entire campaign off course. They were not perfect in the subsequent game against Mexico, but they did deserve to collect all three points on the balance of play. Against Poland on Thursday, Argentina were far superior to their opponents and could easily have scored four or five goals.

There is a feeling that Scaloni has now found his best team. The injury sustained by Gio Lo Celso shortly before the tournament robbed Argentina of one of their most important players, a midfielder who was crucial to the network of passing that was such a key feature of their play in Copa America 2021 and throughout South America’s qualification campaign

Scaloni tried Papu Gomez and Guido Rodriguez as replacements, but neither man was convincing. The balance of the midfield looked much better against Poland, with Enzo Fernandez stationed between Alexis Mac Allister and Rodrigo De Paul. Scaloni will surely stick with that trio on Saturday.

Further forward, Julian Alvarez has usurped Lautaro Martinez in the pecking order. Lionel Messi had his best game of the tournament against Poland, where he was deployed as a false nine and given the license to drift across the pitch. Alvarez did a fine job of filling the space Messi vacated, ensuring the Polish center-backs always had something to think about.

Argentina were aided by a dismal display from their opponents, but there was a rhythm to their play on Thursday that was missing previously. That suggests the Albiceleste might be serious contenders after all.

Australia Hoping For Another Mini-miracle In The Round Of 16 

Most Australia fans were pessimistic going into this tournament. Drawn alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D, the consensus was that a third-place finish was the best they could hope for. Instead, the Socceroos qualified for the knockout phase for only the second time in their history.

The only other Australia side to make it this far was the golden generation of 2006. At most, only one member of the current team would make it into the starting XI from 18 years ago. Yet Graham Arnold’s side have upset the odds to match that historic accomplishment.

The coach deserves a huge amount of credit. Australia finished a distant third in their Asian qualification group, behind Saudi Arabia and Japan. They needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome Peru in the inter-confederation play-offs. There were few signs that Australia were about to do something special in Qatar.

That feeling was reinforced when they were thumped 4-1 by France on matchday one. But Australia responded brilliantly, beating both Tunisia and Denmark 1-0 to go through in second spot.

In the decisive game against the Danes, Australia faced a team with 10 players who ply their trade in one of Europe’s top five leagues (the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga), compared to none of their own. 

Yet with a heady mix of grit, spirit and supreme organization, the Socceroos got the result they needed. In the end, it was pretty comfortable: after a strong start, Denmark faded dramatically and Australia held out for a clean sheet without too much difficulty.

Argentina Will Have Too Much Quality For Plucky Socceroos

Denmark were one of the biggest disappointments of the group phase, particularly after their strong recent showings at the European Championship and in the Nations League. Australia pulled off an upset by beating them, but a victory over Argentina would comfortably surpass that - not least because the Socceroos have never reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup before.

However, this is likely to be a bridge too far for this plucky Australia side. Led by center-backs Harry Souttar and Jamie Rowles, expect a deep defense, plenty of blocks and tackles, and no shortage of bravery. But after Messi delivered a sublime showing against Poland, Argentina will fancy their chances of pulling Australia’s defensive structure apart.

Arnold’s men took the lead against France in their first game in Qatar, but they were ultimately outclassed and lost by three clear goals. A similar outcome could be on the cards on Saturday. Australia will give it everything they have got, and they may grow in confidence if the score is still level at half-time. 

More likely, though, is that Argentina’s superior quality will tell, especially now they have some momentum behind them. Back a win by a three-goal margin or more. 

How to Watch Argentina vs Australia

  • Teams: Argentina vs Australia

  • Location: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar

  • Time: Saturday, 3 December 2022, 2:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch: Fox Sports, Telemundo, fuboTV

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Greg Lea

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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