Thursday, 12th June 2014 at 12:09 pm
ARGENTINA | BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA | IRAN | NIGERIA
Nickname: La Albiceleste
Manager: Alejandro Sabella
Captain: Lionel Messi
FIFA ranking: 7
All-out firepower – that almighty front three of Messi, Higuain and Aguero scored a combined 86 goals for their clubs last season.
If you want to hurt them, get your wide men in the game – the Argentinians are all at sea when it comes to defending crosses and set-pieces.
Lionel Messi 26: Leo missed two months of last season with injury – but that’s worked perfectly for Argentina, as that break makes him fresher than most of his rivals.
2014 squad lowdown
Most capped: Javier Mascherano, 96 caps
Top scorer: Lionel Messi, 37 goals
Most represented club: Man. City, Inter Milan – 3 players
Likely formation: 4-3-3 (4-1-4-1, 4-1-3-2)
Formation: 4-4-2 (4-1-3-2)
Playing style: Attacking
Strengths: Technique and forward play
Weaknesses: An unorganised midfield
Star man: Edin Dzeko – he scored a third of their goals in qualifying
Formation: 4-3-3 (4-2-3-1)
Playing style: Counter-attacking
Strengths: They’re in good form
Weaknesses: An inexperienced keeper
Star man: Fulham man man Ashkan Dejagah – can inspire a struggling team
Playing style: Possession footy
Strengths: Confident attackers
Weaknesses: Cracking organised back-lines
Star man: Sharp-shooter Emmanuel Emenike – packs a one-in-two strike rate
For loads more World Cup gossip, exclusive interviews and expert predictions get this week’s Match of the Day magazine, in all good newsagents.