Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 predictions, Round of 16 fixtures and results: Saturday 3 December

It’s time for the knockout phase at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, as the Round of 16 kicks off in Qatar on Saturday.

First it’s the turn of the Netherlands, who keep the valedictory lap going for coach Louis van Gaal as they go up against the challenge of the United States of America.

Then a clash of rankings, if not the alphabet, as Lionel Messi’s Argentina tackle Australia, who turfed out Denmark and Tunisia to qualify for the last 16 from a devilish group alongside France.

World Cup predictions and fixtures for 3 December

*All kick off times are in Central Africa Time.

Round of 16: Netherlands vs USA – 17.00

The first knockout clash kicks off at the 2022 Fifa World Cup on Saturday, as the Netherlands meet the United States of America for a place in the Qatar quarter-finals.

It was a contrasting journey to the Round of 16 for the pair.

The Dutch cruised through Group A under the charge of veteran coach Louis van Gaal, who extends his final competition in international football.

A win over wasteful Senegal set the tone in their pool opener, before a draw with Ecuador left them needing to avoid defeat against hapless hosts Qatar to seal their progress.

Goals from hotshot Cody Gakpo and a Frenkie de Jong tap in ensured they did just that.

The States couldn’t be sure of their last 16 qualification until the final whistle of their showdown with Iran on Tuesday night.

A match surrounded by the swirl of political controversy could have gone either way – and seen either team go through.

But a first half effort from Christian Pulisic proved to be the difference for Greg Berhalter’s men, who made it through ahead of their joint hosting of the tournament in 2024.

They came through Group B unbeaten, in fact, having had the better of a draw with group winners England after a late Gareth Bale penalty had denied them victory in their pool opener.

Round of 16: Argentina vs Australia – 21.00

The second Round of 16 contest at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar pits one of the pre-tournament favourites in Argentina against surprise package Australia.

Lionel Messi and his side were sweating on their chances after being stunned by pool minnows Saudi Arabia in their competition opener.

But the South Americans came good with back-to-back wins to top the Group C standings.

First Americas rivals Mexico proved no match on Saturday night as Messi scored his second of the competition in a 2-0 success to ease the nerves.

And the little maestro’s penalty miss didn’t prove costly on Wednesday, as they notched the same scoreline against Poland, which allowed the European nation to squeak through into the knockouts alongside them.

The Socceroos’ sparkling success mirrors that of their last 16 opponents.

Taking a shock lead against defending champions France looked like it might be as good as it was going to get for coach Graham Arnold and his team.

Not least when Les Bleus roared back with four unanswered goals to leave the Aussies firmly on the back foot.

But Australian sporting spirit is never to be underestimated, whatever the code, with consecutive wins taking them through Group D behind the star-studded French on goal difference alone.

They did it by bundling out two decent pool rivals, too.

First by clinging on for a tense win over Tunisia last weekend, before Matthew Leckie’s goal did the business against everyone’s second team Denmark.

It sets up a famous night for those in green and gold, who take part in the knockout phase for the first time in 16 years.