Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said it was “madness” for his team to play their World Cup last 16 game against Australia with just two rest days after their last group match.
The South Americans beat Poland 2-0 on Wednesday night to top their group and set up Saturday’s knockout clash.
“I think it’s absolute madness to play in nearly two days and a bit when we are top of the group. I can’t understand it,” Scaloni said, talking to the media after the game at Doha’s 974 Stadium ended just before midnight.
“What time is it? Nearly one o’clock in the morning … Thursday, the next day is for preparation and then we play. Those aren’t good conditions but it’s the same for everyone. We’re first in the group. We could have had more rest.”
Australia will only benefit from a few hours’ more time to recuperate and prepare than Argentina, given their last group match was completed earlier on Wednesday.
When is Argentina vs Australia?
The match is on Saturday December 3
What time is kick-off?
The match will kick off at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium at 7pm (GMT), 10pm local time.
What TV channel is it on?
The match will be shown on either BBC or ITV. Telegraph Sport will also be running a live blog on the game – you can bookmark this page now and return on Saturday to follow along with our coverage.
How have Argentina fared so far?
Argentina’s tournament got off to the worst possible start after they were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their opening game. Lionel Messi had put his country ahead from the penalty spot but second half goals by Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari gave the Saudis three points.
With their future in the tournament at stake, Messi delivered for his country with an excellent left-footed strike from distance against Mexico. And their first win of the World Cup was confirmed when substitute Enzo Fernandez curled home Argentina’s second of the match.
In Argentina’s final group match, they were completely dominant against Poland, comfortably winning 2-0 thanks to goals from two Premier League players, Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister and Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez. The win meant Argentina finished top of Group C.
How have Australia got on so far?
Australia had a tough start to the World Cup as they lost 4-1 to defending champions France. Inspired by Kylian Mbappe, the French turned on the style after conceding an early goal.
Australia gave themselves a chance at qualification when Mitchell Duke scored with a clever feathered header against Tunisia to give them a 1-0 win. It was just their third World Cup win in history and their first clean sheet at the tournament since 1974.
And they backed it up with an impressive win over Denmark, who had been tournament underdogs.