FIFA World Cup: Saturday 3 December

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Netherlands vs USA

3 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Netherlands win

The US edged out Iran in their last game to make it through Group B, but they lost goal scorer Christian Pulisic to injury in the process. It is a big loss as Pulisic has scored twice as many goals (22) for the USA than any other player in the squad. His presence would have helped as Greg Berhalter’s men attempts to improve on their poor record at this stage of the competition. They have lost three of their 4 round of sixteen matches in their World Cup history, so they are fighting against the odds here.

On the other hand, the Netherlands are in fine form under Luis Van Gaal. They are unbeaten in all 10 of the World Cup matches they have played under him, winning 7 and drawing 3. They also kept 5 clean sheets in the last 6 matches. Overall, the Dutch have won 12 of their last 15 competitive matches and drawn the other 3. 

The US have now lost 13 of the 23 matches against European teams in this competition, while Netherlands have won 13 of their last 19 World Cup games against non-European nations. While the US will be sweating on Pulisic’s fitness, the Dutch will have the full repertoire of their forwards available. Cody Gakpo especially has been in terrific form so far. He now has five goals in his last 6 games for his country and is in contention for the golden boot here, having scored three goals so far. We feel he can fire the Netherlands to victory. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The Netherlands are unbeaten in 10 World Cup games under Luis Van Gaal, winning seven
  • The Dutch have won 13 of their last 19 World Cup clashes with non-European sides
  • The US have lost 13 of their 23 clashes with European sides at the World Cup

Argentina vs Australia

3 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Argentina win

Argentina have recovered well from their shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia with 2-0 wins against Mexico and Poland, securing the top spot in Group C. Lionel Messi may be the star man who gets all the headlines, but the recent success of Lionel Scaloni has been built on an almost impregnable defence. La Albiceleste have won seven of their last eight games without conceding, and the two goals they conceded against the Saudis were just the third and fourth goals they have conceded in the 12 games they have played in 2022.

The Socceroos finished ahead of Denmark and Tunisia to qualify from Group D in a feat that only a few would have envisaged. They managed a goal against France and beat both Denmark and Tunisia 1-0, so they have scored exactly one goal in each game. Considering that they had won only 2 of their last nine competitive games before the World Cup, they seem to have found a new lease of life at this tournament.

We however feel that Argentina will be too strong for the Aussies on Saturday. They have won 16 of their last 24 competitive fixtures, drawing seven and losing one, and they are well versed in game management, as they showed by winning their last two games 2-0. Australia have impressed so far, but they will struggle to contain an attack loaded with quality forwards like Julian Alvarez, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, and the aforementioned Messi.

Key Takeaways:

  • Argentina have won 7 of their last eight games without conceding
  • La Albiceleste have conceded just 4 goals in 12 matches in 2022
  • Australia had won just 2 of their nine competitive fixtures

Cameroon vs Brazil

3 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Brazil win

Cameroon played their part in one of the best games of the World Cup so far last time out as they rallied from two goals down to draw 3-3 against Serbia. However, following their defeat to Switzerland in the opening round,, they need to beat Group G leaders Brazil to have any hope of making it out of the Group Stage. Considering that they struggled to dominate any of those two games, it would take a monumental effort for them to get the win they need here.

Brazil’s win over Switzerland in round two was earned courtesy of a late Casemiro strike, and they can be confident of topping the group with a result in Lusail on Friday. While a lot has been said of their devastatingly talented attacking players, Tite has this side keeping it incredibly tight at the back as well and that could put them in good stead the further we go into this competition. They are yet to allow their opponents a shot on target so far, and they have kept 12 clean sheets in the 17 undefeated matches since their Copa America Final defeat last year.

The Selecao have won ten of these 17 games to nil, and we are backing them to make it 11 on Friday. Tite may decide to rest some players on Friday, but Richarlison must be considered in the anytime goalscorer market if he starts. He has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances for Brazil, and no player has scored more Brazil goals since he made his debut in 2018.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brazil are unbeaten in 17 games and have won ten of those to nil.
  • Brazil are yet to face a shot on target in the 2022 World Cup.
  • Richarlison has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances for Brazil

Serbia vs Switzerland

3 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Switzerland win or draw (X2)

Serbia were seen by many as a potential dark-horse at the 2022 World Cup but find themselves sitting at the bottom of Group G, having taken one point from their first 2 matches. Dragan Stojkovic’s side now have to win here to qualify, which could bring the best out of his hugely talented squad. Even though they struggled to impress against Brazil and Cameroon, Serbia have still lost only two of their last 20 competitive matches. They have scored twenty-one goals In the last ten of those games, so they are a side that offers plenty of excitement going forward.

Switzerland currently sits second in Group G and have their destiny in their own hands heading into their final group game. Despite sitting pretty, Switzerland have been largely underwhelming in Qatar. Murat Yakin’s side failed to impress in their group opener against Cameroon and were lucky to record a 1-0 victory after Cameroon spurned a few chances in the first half. Switzerland didn’t muster a shot on target against Brazil and now faces a Serbia team who knows nothing less than a victory will see them bow out of the competition.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his first goal of the tournament in Serbia’s 3-3 draw against Cameroon, and the Fulham striker could be the man to fire his nation into the Last 16. Mitrovic has scored seven times in Serbia’s last seven competitive matches and was the top scorer in Serbia’s qualifying group, scoring eight times in their eight group matches. Up against a Switzerland side with only 2 clean sheets in their last eight competitive fixtures, he will be relishing linking up with Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Dusan Vlahovic to get the goals to secure the needed 3 points.

Key Takeaways:

  • Serbia have lost only two of their last 20 competitive matches
  • Switzerland didn’t record a shot on target in their last Group G game against Brazil
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored seven times in Serbia’s last seven competitive matches.

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