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FIFA World Cup Preview: Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina

14 June 2014 16:18

Group F favourites Argentina get their FIFA World Cup campaign under way against a talented Bosnia-Herzegovina side on Sunday.

The two-time world champions appear well-set to win their group and have been tipped by many to threaten the latter stages of the competition due to their fearsome forward line.

If the likes of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero can combine to form the sum of their parts then even a strong Bosnia side will likely be powerless to stop them.

Proven quality in the form of Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Asmir Begovic means this is likely to be the sternest test of the group for Alejandro Sabella's men.

Argentina have made the quarter-finals at their last two World Cups but there is a feeling that their forward line, and Messi in particular, may never have a better chance to bring a third title home.

The Barcelona forward has suffered a frustrating injury-hit season at club level and has often been accused of failing to deliver on the international stage.

However, with the likes of Higuain, Di Maria and Aguero having all picked up major silverware at club level, Messi may feel the pressure is off somewhat.

Highly rated defender Ezequiel Garay is set to be among those tasked with providing a solid foundation for Argentina's attacking line-up while Fernando Gago too could be asked to shore up the midfield.

Gago, who plies his trade for Boca Juniors, is well aware of the danger Argentina's forward line can threaten.

"We know that in the final quarter, few teams can play at the speed of Angel di Maria, Kun Aguero and Leo Messi," he told Ole.

"The precision they have at such speed marks the difference... (but) you need the 11 to attack and the 11 to defend.

"The forwards have to have high precision and sometimes withdraw to break out in quick counters."

Susic, who scored a hat-trick for Yugoslavia against Argentina in 1979, will become the first person to lead the independent nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the World Cup finals.

He ensured they qualified as winners of Group G - dropping only five points as they topped an even-matched pool ahead of Greece and Slovakia.

Susic also made a handful of appearances for Bosnia before moving into management and the 59-year-old believes today's Argentine crop are even better than the class of '79 he faced.

"Argentina at the time were a brilliant team but what they have today is magical. Their attacking shape is really impressive," Susic told The Observer.

"However, we did not come to Brazil to be tourists. We believe in ourselves."

Benfica defender Garay should shake off an ankle injury to feature although midfielder Sejad Salihovic is a doubt for Susic due to a knock.

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Info

Competition
World Cup
Date
16 June 2014
Game week
1
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
2 - 1

Goals

S. Kolašinac (OG) 3'  
1 - 0
L. Messi 65'
(assist by G. Higuaín) 
2 - 0
2 - 1
84' V. Ibišević
 (assist by S. Lulić)

Lineups

Substitutes

Saturday 23 August

20:33
20:31
20:10
20:01
19:54
19:47
19:40
19:33
19:26
19:25
19:19
19:13
19:04
19:00
18:52
18:03
18:00
18:00
17:59
17:52
17:51
17:21
17:02
16:44
16:33
16:25
15:41
14:58
14:51
14:11
14:02
13:21
12:19
12:01
11:04
11:00
10:44
10:07
06:55
06:52
06:42
05:59
05:49
05:05
03:07
03:04
02:19
02:13
00:22
00:18

Friday 22 August

23:32
23:26
22:34
22:27
22:22
21:53
20:46
20:46
19:44
18:41
18:27
18:25
18:01
17:56
17:33
17:29
17:27
17:17
17:02
16:37
16:28
16:03
15:25
15:22
15:05
14:09
14:00
13:33
13:31
12:23
12:16
11:57
11:54
11:26
10:50
10:24
09:52
09:31
09:29
07:24
06:18
05:29
04:47
03:50
03:20
02:46
02:35
00:13

Thursday 21 August

23:44
23:38
23:04
22:36
22:27
22:19
21:48
21:40
21:34
20:55
20:27
20:17
20:11
20:10
20:04
19:39
18:49
18:23
18:11
18:08
17:53
17:38
17:35
17:21
17:08
16:57
16:57
16:46
16:41
16:26
16:19
16:09
16:09
15:59
15:48
15:42
15:22
14:38
14:26
14:04
13:34
13:27
13:05
12:57
12:55
12:54
12:20
11:25
10:58
10:48
10:11
10:04
09:45
09:41
08:34
08:18
07:12
07:06
06:33
06:00
05:59
05:58
05:52
05:38
04:33
04:32
04:03
03:38
03:10
00:59

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