Holland and Argentina are favourites, but the World Cup is full of surprises

After perhaps the most surprising group stage ever, a Qatar 2022 it’s time to get really serious and today the knockout phase opens with two challenges from the round of 16, Holland-USA at 16 and Argentina-Australia at 20, which on paper may seem decidedly targeted, but this World Cup has already taught us that anything can happen…

NETHERLANDS-USA – In the last match between the two, the Americans prevailed 4-3 in a friendly match, but in the first three games Van Gaal’s team showed that they have solidity and a good playing system to be able to aspire to go through. The orange coach is in doubt whether to side with one or two strikers, but he will certainly bet again on Gakpo, PSV’s talent who scores in all group matches. No doubts instead for Berhalter, who has everyone available: Pulisic is recovered and will be part of the trident completed, as usual, by Weah and Sargent. McKennie, Adams and Musah in midfield, while Zimmermann is back in central defense.

NETHERLANDS (3-4-1-2): Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Aké; Dumfries, F. De Jong, Klaassen, Blind; Gakpo; Bergwijn, Depay. Ct. Van Gaal
UNITED STATES (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Zimmermann, Ream, Robinson; McKennie, Adams, Musah; Weah, Sargent, Pulisic. Ct. Berhalter

Argentina is growing and after the surprise defeat against Saudi Arabia, Australia is back in the round of 16 sixteen years after the defeat against Italy in 2006, the prediction seems obvious and the match seems the right one for Messi’s redemption after the mistake from the penalty spot with Poland. Coach Scaloni will obviously focus again on Pulce and with him he seems oriented to choose Alvarez and Correa again, with Lautaro (and also Dybala) back on the bench. Despite the warning, Acuna plays as a left-back. On the other hand, the Socceroos are warned by 4, but Coach Arnnold doesn’t make calculations and doesn’t intend to change the team that got through to the round of 16.

ARGENTINA (4-3-3): E. Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Acuna; De Paul, E. Fernandez, Mac Allister; Correa, Messi, Alvarez. Coach Scaloni
AUSTRALIA (4-3-3): Ryan; Degenek, Rowles, Souttar, Behich; McGree, Mooy, Irvine; Leckie, Duke, Goodwin. Ct. Arnold

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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