Six Nations winners vulnerable without O'Connell and O'Mahony in front row against Argentina attack, so back Pumas to pounce with top 19/10 odds at Coral.
Argentina are 2-1 up on Ireland in past Rugby World Cup meetings and, with Joe Schmidt side suffering injuries en route to booking this last eight encounter, it could be well worth siding with the Pumas to pounce.
Coral’s terrific 19/10 price on Argentina upsetting the dual Six Nations winners is splendid value, especially when you consider how short the Irish could be if skipper Paul O’Connell joins fellow front row player Peter O’Mahony in missing the rest of the tournament.
Betway offer the best odds at 4/7 on an Ireland win in 80 minutes, but fly half Johnny Sexton could also be absent through injury after France targeted him and forced him off with a hamstring problem during the opening period of their Pool D decider.
Schmidt should be concerned about the first-half difficulties tournament favourites New Zealand had against Argentina. The Pumas have been part of the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship for four seasons now, and their improvement is marked on that evidence despite the All Blacks running out eventual winners in Pool C’s opening clash.
Experience like centurion O’Connell’s is invaluable, and the Irish defence will definitely be weaker without his leadership and nous. Their tryscoring threats are predictably back row trio Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls and Rob Kearney with eight between them, while wingers Simon Zebo has flopped at this Rugby World Cup.
Although Argentina certainly had the easier group, they have spread responsibility for crossing the line around their squad nicely with 16 different men going over a total of 22 times. This suggests threats come from more areas, so the Pumas could spring a surprise on the Irish.
Santiago Cordero, who has 30 points from just 15 Argentina caps, has led the way with three tries from the right wing in as many outings, while down the opposite side Juan Imhoff boasts the same scoring return from three Pool C starts.
BETTING TIP: Argentina win in 80 mins @ 19/10 with Coral.
All odds were correct at time of posting.