On Tuesday, 1st of July 2014 (9:00 AM Pacific), Argentina vs Switzerland (Suiza) will takes place at the Arena Corinthians in the gigantic city of São Paulo in a match that will offer the Swiss team the possibility of reaching the Quarter-finals for the first time in seventy years.
It is time for Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina to make a stand at this World Cup. After at least two fairly unconvincing performances, La Albiceleste will need to pull rank in order to overcome a quality team such as Switzerland.
Argentina started their World Cup campaign with a narrow and shineless win over the debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina and weren’t able to do any better than that on their second match against Iran. The South American team revealed several deficiencies both on their attacking movements and on their defensive activity. It seemed that they were constantly expecting Lionel Messi’s inspiration to decide the match, which eventually ended up happening.
Alejandro Sabella, who is currently facing some fierce criticism due to the team’s bland displays, experimented with a 5-3-2 tactical scheme against Bosnia, an approach he had already put into practice during some matches of the qualification round, but which has proven to be fairly ineffective.
The Argentinean manager seems to be experimenting some difficulties to make the best out of his players so far and the water “incident” with Ezequiel Lavezzi during last week’s match against Nigeria might in fact indicate some unrest in La Albiceleste’s locker room.
For the match against the Swiss team, it is not likely that Sabella will return to the 5-3-2 approach as he might push instead his usual 4-3-3 style with Messi lurking behind the centre forward duo, which will not count on the contribution of Kun Aguero, who is currently injured.
As for Switzerland, the match against the former World Champions will offer them a unique opportunity to erase their uncharacteristic performance against France from their fans’ minds.
Although they did manage to grant a place in the Round of 16, this Swiss team is still miles away from the one that fully controlled their UEFA qualification group. With some injury problems affecting the team’s defence line, some of the players also looked particularly fatigued and experiencing some difficulties to adapt to the severe climate conditions.
Their midfield line in particular looks fairly uninspired and some important and influential players, such as Granit Xhaka and Inler, have been far from their best.
Argentina (4-3-3) – Romero – Zabaleta – Rojo – Garay – Fernández – Gago – Mascherano – Di Maria – Messi – Palacios – Higuaín
Switzerland (4-2-3-1) – Benaglio – Lichtsteiner – Senderos – Djourou – Rodriguez – Inler – Dzemaili – Xhaka – Shaqiri – Mehmedi – Drmic
Argentina vs Switzerland Prediction
Despite their unconvincing recent performances, Argentina are firm favourites to win next Tuesday’s match, but if the Swiss team manages to replicate some of their displays from the World Cup qualification round, they might in fact cause a major upset to the South American side. This being said, the most likely outcome is a victory for the Argentineans.
Argentina 2 – 1 Switzerland
Argentina vs Switzerland Television
The Argentina vs Switzerland match will be televised in the USA on ESPN3 (stream) and Univision Deportes at 9:00 AM Pacific.