Our Predictions Ahead Of Today’s Round of 16 World Cup Fixtures
3 Dec 2022
After an enthralling group stage that saw multiple upsets, the 2022 World Cup Round of 16 kicks off this afternoon. Ahead of today’s round of fixtures, we have come up with our predictions as to who will progress to the Quarter Finals:
Netherlands vs USA
The Netherlands made it through a fairly comfortable Group A with 2 wins and a draw and never really looked too troubled. While it was a fairly easy ride, this is not the Dutch side of old, lacking some of the quality of the past. But, one man has stood out for them and his name is Cody Gakpo. With speed, pace, and an eye for goal he caught the eye of Premier League teams, including Manchester United reportedly.
He has scored 3 of the 5 goals for his team and will be crucial to victory in not only this match but the rest of the tournament. The U.S.A came through Group B by frustrating sides like England and Iran with their defensive resilience and attacking talent.
Christian Pulisic has stepped up and delivered for the Americans, while Tyler Adams has shined as the bedrock of their midfield. While they may lack a focal point in the centre forward position, they have enough quality from the wings to create chances and their resolute defence will make them a tough out Louis Van Gaal’s side. They will not make it easy for the team in orange, but if Cody Gakpo shines then so can the Dutch.
Score Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 USA (aet)
Argentina vs Australia
After a tumultuous start to their World Cup journey, Argentina have bounced back from their embarrassment against Saudi Arabia to win their next two games, and while they haven’t yet hit top gear, their star players are starting to deliver on the world stage. Lionel Messi put his team on his back against Mexico, and while he fluffed his lines from the penalty spot against Poland, he was bailed out by the Premier League pairing of Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez to secure the victory.
The man who is arguably the greatest to ever play the game will however be expected to bear the brunt of the offensive load as Argentina look to progress through the knock out stages, and will be looking to Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez to assist him with some midfield creativity.
Their opponents, Australia, will be delighted to have even got out of their group, beating dark horses Denmark to the second spot behind France. The discrepancy in talent between the two sides in this fixture is huge, but the Socceroos have a togetherness and camaraderie that can take teams a long way in international tournaments.
Aaron Mooy will have to perform better than he ever has if the Aussies wish to cause an upset here, as if Australia win the midfield battle and secure second balls, they have the aerial threat up top to cause Argentina problems. You would expect former Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Ryan to be kept busy throughout the 90 minutes, but aside from a dismantling from France, Australia have looked reasonably solid defensively throughout the tournament.
This game will be dictated by who scores the first goal. Against Saudi Arabia, Argentina looked devoid of ideas when they went a goal behind, and the Australians will look to frustrate their opponents if they can secure a vital opener. However, Argentina have a better quality of personnel in every position than their Oceanic counterparts, and should win comfortably if they can find their feet early.
Score Prediction: Argentina 3-1 Australia