FIFA World Cup 2022 draw slammed over short turnaround between games, Australia vs Argentina

Argentina isn’t happy. Australia isn’t happy.

Meanwhile England and Senegal are keeping quiet as they enjoy some extra rest.

The Socceroos play Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the round of 16 on Saturday night local time (Sunday morning AEDT).

That’s just three nights after the two teams played their final group games.

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The Socceroos will have just two days now to prepare for the equal biggest game in the nation’s history.

It’s slightly worse for Argentina who played four hours after Australia so have even less time to prepare.

Meanwhile England and Senegal will play a day after the Socceroos – despite both teams playing their final group games on Tuesday.

A nice five night gap between games.

Of course this draw was finalised a long time ago, but for a Socceroos squad no one expected to make it out of the group stage it hardly seemed like an issue.

Now Australia has little time to prepare for its first round of 16 game since facing eventual winners Italy in 2006.

Speaking to media today, Socceroos defender Milos Degenek – who started at right back against Denmark – said players aren’t robots.

“Believe me, there’s going to be a lot of preparations today and tomorrow before that game, which again is a very short turnaround,” he said.

“It’s something that FIFA needs to consider, that we’re not robots. We are humans and that we do need to recover and can’t just play day after day, we need a break as well.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni hit out at organisers as Argentina will play their last 16 tie on Saturday with only two full days to rest.

“We are happy today but I don’t want to be euphoric because I think it’s crazy that we’re playing in just over two days despite being winners of this group,” he said.

“I can’t understand it. It’s already (the early hours of) Thursday and we have two days and then we have to play it.”

He has a point. France topped Australia’s group and gets to enjoy an extra day of rest before playing on Sunday.

But speaking after the Socceroos win against Denmark, Graham Arnold wasn’t too concerned about the short turnaround.

“I’ve been around long enough, the most important thing is recovery, (good) sleep and making sure you’re ready for the next game.”

In fact, Arnold joked the only reward his players would get for the Denmark win was water.

After England beat Wales 3-0 to top Group B, manager Gareth Southgate said he’ll allow his players a milkshake as a treat.

But Arnold was having none of it.

When asked what he’d allow his players, he held up a bottle of water.

“Bottle of water,” he joked.

How much of an impact Australia’s last two games has against Argentina remains to be seen.

The Socceroos put in two incredible performances to get back-to-back clean sheets.

Australia seemed to be running out of legs in the second half against Denmark, but once Mat Leckie scored it was the Socceroos who finished looking the fitter.

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