Lionel Messi Set for 1000th Match as Argentina and Australia Meet

Lionel Messi will play his 1000th career game on Saturday when Argentina look to join the last eight at the World Cup with a victory over Australia. Can he mark the occasion with a big performance?

10Bet LogoBookmaker 10bet has the odds at 1.62 for Messi to score on Saturday and the odds are at 3.10 for him to either open or finish the scoring.

※ Current Odds Date & Time: December 2nd, 7:00 A.M. (EST)

As expected, the Argentinians have relied heavily on Messi at the World Cup and he’s been in good form, recording two goals and an assist across three matches. By missing a penalty against Poland, Messi blew a big chance to extend his scoring streak for Argentina to a career-high seven games, but it shouldn’t take him long to put together another nice run of goals.

Wednesday’s clash with Poland marked Messi’s 22nd World Cup appearance, and if everything goes according to play, he will break Lothar Matthäus’ record of 25 matches in the final. Reaching the final appeared out of the question for Argentina when the team opened the World Cup with a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, but they were already in very dominant form versus Poland and it will take a special performance to knock them out.

Australia also had a horrible start to the tournament when France picked them apart, but the Socceroos have bounced back in style and they should be full of confidence after posting a pair of 1-0 wins. Keeping clean sheets is vital in a tournament like this and Graham Arnold has found a way to shut things down at the back after France had a field day against Australia.

The Aussies will lean heavily on their defense again, and certainly some luck is needed to take down a team that has lost just once in their past 39 outings. Goalkeeper Mat Ryan needs to be in good form, although as Wojciech Szczesny’s performance on Wednesday showed, stopping Argentina could still be an impossible task even with an in-form goalie – he produced 10 saves in the match but the team still suffered a 2-0 loss.

Can Arnold’s men draw inspiration from history? These teams have previously met seven times and the all-time series started with a surprising 4-1 victory for Australia in 1988. It’s regarded as one of the biggest sporting triumphs in the country’s history as Argentina were the reigning world champions at the time. The Socceroos also snuck a 1-1 draw in the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, but it’s been all Argentina in the match-up since then with La Albiceleste winning four clashes straight with a combined score of 8-2.

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