World Cup Predictions: Lawro’s best bets on Saturday include 15/2 punt

We're getting into the business end now and Mark Lawrenson's bristling with anticipation.

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3pm: The Netherlands 2-0 USA
7pm: Argentina 1-0 Australia

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3pm: The Netherlands v USA

TV: BBC and RTE

The Netherlands got through the group relatively unscathed, they only conceded one goal. We were wondering where to goals were going to come from but we know now and the answer is Cody Gakpo. They’re good defensively, any team with Virgil van Dijk’s going to be handy at the back.

I think I said at the start of the group stage that I fancied USA to progress because they’re so hard working and difficult to play against. It won’t be easy for The Netherlands but I don’t think this is one that needs extra time, I think The Netherlands will Win 2-0.

The Netherlands don’t concede to many, they don’t score too many, they’ve just got better-quality players than the US. The competition starts today, for me, and the top players will be thinking in three games time we could be in the final so I don’t see many surprises from here on out at all.

7pm: Argentina v Australia

TV: BBC and RTE

Looking at Lionel Messi in the first half of the first game I was thinking, ‘Wow, he’s lost it!’ But once they started to play with a higher tempo, Argentina, they look a completely different team. They’re better when they’re getting at you and they’re angry.

That’s the best way for them to play, it helps Messi because the opposition are on the back foot. Australia have done fab. As you’d expect from them, whatever sport it is, they’re very, very competitive.

They’ve done great to get there but I’ll go 1-0 to Argentina. I think it’ll be close because, with The Aussies they, leave everything out there. They haven’t got great quality but they’re a team that, if they were playing against you, you’d think, ‘Christ Almighty! Are they ever going to lie down?’

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