Big Match Predictor: Will Messi's World Cup Dream Continue?

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

On Saturday and Sunday, Round 2 of the Big Match Predictor gets underway. There are four round of 16 matches for you to predict, with great prizes up for grabs. Below you can find form and stats tips to help you make your predictions!

Click here to find out how to play!

Last 16: Netherlands vs USA (3/12, 5pm SAST)


- The Netherlands topped Group A with seven points and their form guide reads: WWWDW. They're ranked 8th in the FIFA rankings.

- The Dutch created just 2.40 expected goals in the group stage, the 20th-highest in the World Cup. They created only one “big chance” in three matches.

- Winger Cody Gakpo scored his third goal in three games in the 2-0 win over Qatar. The Dutch had 63% possession and 13 shots in the match.

- Louis Van Gaal’s side have lost just once in 26 matches. They’ve won four of their five previous matches against USA.


- The USMNT are placed 16th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their recent form is: LDDDW.

- Key player Christian Pulisic scored the winner in the 1-0 win over Iran to qualify. He is an injury doubt, though, after ending up in hospital after the match.

- USA limited Iran to just four shots, with one on target. They conceded just once in the group stage despite allowing 2.70 expected goals.

- USA ended a run of five World Cup matches without a win on Tuesday, but they went unbeaten in the group stage: DDW.

Predicted Result: USA WIN. The Dutch have not been performing that well and this looks ripe for an upset.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-1 or 3-2

Last 16: Argentina vs Australia (3/12, 9pm SAST)


- Argentina are ranked 3rd in the world, according to FIFA. Their last 36 matches have seen once one loss and their form reads: WWLWW.

- Lionel Scaloni’s team beat Poland 2-0 in their last match. They had 73% possession, outshot them 23-4 and produced 3.69 expected goals.

- Argentina have allowed opponents very few chances in this tournament. Across three matches, opponents created just 0.7 expected goals.

- Lionel Messi missed a penalty against Poland to end a six-match scoring streak in an Argentina shirt. He had seven shots in the match and created five chances.


- Australia won their last two group matches to finish second. Their recent form reads: WWLWW and they sit 38th in the FIFA World Rankings.

- The Socceroos beat Denmark 1-0 in their last match. They made an incredible 32 clearances and 12 interceptions in the victory.

- Middlesbrough midfielder Riley McGree assisted the winner and had two shots in the match.

- The Aussies have now kept successive clean sheets at the World Cup. They conceded 5.80 expected goals in the group stage, the fourth-most at the tournament.

Predicted Result: Argentina WIN. Australia could frustrate them for a while but quality will eventually shine through.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-0 or 3-0.

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Last 16: France vs Poland (4/12, 5pm SAST)


- Defending world champions France sit 4th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their recent form guide is: WDWWL.

- Les Bleus lost 1-0 to Tunisia in their final group match after resting nine starting XI players. France managed just 10 shots and 0.81 expected goals in the match.

- PSG star Kylian Mbappe has 14 goals in his last 13 France appearances. Antoine Griezmann has created 11 chances in this tournament and five “big chances”.

- France have won eight of their last 10 matches at World Cups. They’re unbeaten in seven matches against Poland, with five clean sheets.


- The Poles scraped into the last 16 on goal difference. They’re ranked 26th in the world and their form guide reads: WWDWL.

- Poland lost 2-0 to Argentina in midweek as they managed just four shots in the match.

- Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made seven saves in midweek and made his second penalty stop of the tournament. He has saved 90% of the shots he has faced so far.

- Poland have made it to the round of 16 for the first time in five World Cups. They have averaged just 34% possession at Qatar 2022.

Predicted Result: France WIN. Poland have been fortunate to reach this stage and should be outclassed.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-0 or 3-0

Last 16: England vs Senegal (4/12, 9pm SAST)


- England are 5th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their last five results under Gareth Southgate are: LDWDW

- The Three Lions cruised past Wales 3-0 in their last match. England outshot the Welsh 18-7 and created 2.09 more expected goals than their opponents.

- Captain Harry Kane has 51 goals for England but none in this tournament. He leads the assist charts (three) but has not scored from five shots at Qatar 2022.

- In 20 previous matches, England have never been beaten by African opposition.


- Senegal are placed 18th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their recent results coming into this match are: WDLWW.

- The Lions of Teranga beat Ecuador 2-1 to reach the knockout stages. Senegal dominated the match with 2.14 expected goals to 0.93 xG for the South Americans.

- Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly scored the winner on Tuesday. He made 10 clearances and two interceptions in the victory.

- Senegal have struggled in the second half of matches. 88.4% of their total expected goals conceded have come after half-time.

Predicted Result: England WIN. Senegal will put up a good fight but the strength of England’s bench could be key.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-1 or 3-2

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