Argentina recorded a 2-0 win over Poland on Wednesday to not only secure their place in the round of 16, but to progress as group winners.
Their reward is a favourable matchup against Australia on Saturday.
The Socceroos made it out of a competitive Group D thanks to consecutive 1-0 wins over Tunisia and Denmark.
Their backs-to-the-wall performance meant they are one of the surprise qualifiers from the group stage. Graham Arnold’s side are ranked just 38th in the world.
Half Time/Full Time: Argentina
This should be a straight-forward victory for La Albiceleste.
Australia will take a similar approach to that of Mexico and Poland, which, while frustrating, was ultimately ineffective against an Argentina attack possessing the creative mastery of Lionel Messi.
Man for man, Australia’s defence is overmatched against the Argentines.
They had to ride their luck, conceding 5.8 expected goals, in the group stage, and will need a footballing miracle to be able to get a result here.
It was 0-0 at half-time against Poland and Mexico, but Argentina should get off to a better start.
To Win To Nil: Argentina
Despite conceding two to Saudi Arabia, Argentina conceded only 0.7 expected goals through their three group stage matches.
Australia averaged just seven shots and 0.6 expected goals per match.
Lionel Scaloni has his team well-organised out of possession, and even in a game like this, he will have plenty of defence-minded players on the pitch.
Coming off consecutive clean sheets, there is good value on Argentina to win to nil.
First Goalscorer: Lionel Messi
Of players in groups A to D (which are the teams to have played three matches at the time of writing), no one can better Lionel Messi’s tally of 2.4 expected goals.
Messi, of course, has two goals to his name and has fired 4.3 shots per match.
Other than the strike against Mexico, Messi has been most impactful as a playmaker, but this is a great price on the PSG star to open the scoring.
All odds are subject to change