Argentina go into today’s match knowing that a victory could see them move into the second round of the tournament while Iran would be hoping to cause an upset like Chile and Costa Rica before them.
The Argentines are simply the most blessed country in the tournament in the attacking area with Messi, Higuain, Aguero and Di Maria all wearing the Blue and white of Argentina. The Argentine boasts of comparable quality with Mascherano and Gago in the centre of the park. With Demichelis, Garay, Zabaleta and Campangaro, they havw a solid defensive line too. The problem is the team never seems to function as a unit and with Messi playing a central role just behind the striker he struggled to affect the game as he would have if he was given a free role and Aguero was deployed more as a false nine. Argentina also have to start exploiting the flanks a little more as Di Maria and Maxi can provide width if they are assisted by Zabaleta and Rojo to give Higuain more opportunities to punish the defense
The Iranians on paper are not a match for Argentina but that could prove to be a costly assumption when the two teams square of tonight as Carlos Queiroz has put together one of the most compact counter attacking teams in the world cup and their speed going forward is bested probably only by Chile and Croatia. They can catch the Argentines on the break as Ashkan Dejaga could pose problems for the Argentine back three along with Heydari and Reza. The Iranians would however do well to know that if they are to get anything from this match, they must remain solid at the back and take their chances going forward.
This has all the ingredients to be a massive clash and if there’s anything we’ve learnt at the world cup this time out, it’s this; anything can happen.