Argentina take on a spirited Switzerland side at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo in the knockout last sixteen clash of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Lionel Messi has taken centre stage for Alejandro Sabella’s side and has been the talk of the Albiceleste in their perfect record in their campaign in Sambaland. Next up for the Blues and Whites are a spirited Swiss side who have the odds to beat anyone on their day as legendary coach Otmar Hitzfeld has calimed that his side doesn’t fear anyone ahead of the clash. Will Messi take centre stage yet again or will Xherdan Shaqiri, Gokhan Inler and co will dump one of the pre tournament favourites of the showpiece event?
We provide our readers with the possible Argentina Lineup ahead of the round of sixteen encounter.
Sergio Romero was not at fault for either of Nigeria’s goals and the Monaco goalkeeper despite having featured very little for the French side came to his country’s rescue with two superb saves against Iran. The Swiss are expected to test Romero with their attacking prowess up front and the tall and lanky goalkeeper needs to have a calm presence at the back having a fragile defense in front of him which can wilt under pressure.
Marcos Rojo’s goal proved to be the difference between the two sides against Nigeria and the Sporting Lisbon player was a lively oulet for Argentina repeatedly making runs up front from the deep, overlapping Angel Di Maria on the left flank. Pablo Zabaleta however, will have a game on his hands against Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri on the right, the latter who scored a sumptuous hattrick against Honduras. Napoli’s Federico Fernandez stills remains a weak line at the back while new Zenit St Petersburg signing Ezequiel Garay will start for Argentina at the heart of the backline. The Swiss side will look to stretch the Argentine defense who can which hasn’t looked at his best in the group stages..
Javier Mascherano starts in his defensive midfield role, acting as a screen for the back four while Fernando Gago will look to be the anchorman in the middle of what has been a rigid 4-3-3 system employed by Sabella. Angel Di Maria has looked out of sorts but he remains the major player behind Lionel Messi’s free role acting as a shuttler in midfield constantly streaming up and down with great enthusiasm. Di Maria likes Rojo to overlap him time and the real Madrid midfielder will look to play from the deep resorting to put crosses in from the flank.
Lionel Messi won the match on his own against Iran and his a sumptuous free kick against Nigeria showed exactly why he remains crucial for Argentina’s chances in the World Cup. Gonzalo Higuain hasn’t quite impressed, but will start in the number nine role while Manchester City’s and Sergio Aguero, who has drawn blanks in group stages is set to miss out albeit a knee injury. This would enable either of Ezequiel Lavezzi or Rodrigo Palacio to start up front and given the former’s impressive outing against Nigeria, Lavezzi will look to storm the Swiss defense on his own.