Argentina v Switzerland – Not Impressed With La Albiceleste?Stats
Argentina v Switzerland
Argentina take on Switzerland in the World Cup Last 16 as both look towards a quarter-finals place and beyond.
Despite finishing top after completing their group with a perfect record of three wins from three, Argentina have yet to fire on all cylinders at this World Cup. They have, however, got an…
…in-form Lionel Messi, and the four-time World Player of the Year has been dragging his side through some very lacklustre performances…
with moments of magic in each of their three games so far. Firstly he got a crucial second as his side looked nervy against Bosnia in their opening game which they just about held on to win 2-1.
Next came a stubborn Iran side determined to play out a 0-0 draw which they were achieving up until injury time at the end of the game when Messi popped up to score a screamer form distance. The Barcelona forward then scored a first half double against Nigeria in their last group game – the second a superb free-kick – to help them on their way to a 3-2 win before being replaced to a standing ovation to keep him fresh for this game.
The Swiss were also thankful for a quite straightforward group which they finished second in behind a very impressive France. Their first game was their most crucial in many ways as they came from a goal down against Ecuador to steal all three points with practically the last kick of the game as substitute Haris Sefarovic scored a last gasp winner.
They were hammered by France in their next game with Les Bleus racing into a 5-0 lead before two late goals gave the scoreline an element of respectability. They were still favourites to qualify though as the faced group whipping boys Honduras in their final group outing and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, thanks to a hat-trick from Bayern Munich star Xherdan Shaqiri.
Defender, Steve von Bergen, has already gone back to Switzerland after fracturing his cheekbone in the early stages of their loss to France, with Phillippe Senderos or Fabian Schar battling to take his place at the heart of the back four. Boss, Ottmar Hitzfeld, has no new injury worries though.
Sergio Aguero is a major doubt for Argentina after the Manchester City striker was taken off against Nigeria with a hamstring injury, which, if as bad as expected, could rule him out for the remainder of the competition.
In the three meetings between these teams Switzerland are yet to earn a victory, with their last clash coming in 2012 as Messi helped himself to a hat-trick in a 3-1 win for Argentina as Shaqiri struck for the Swiss. The sides drew 1-1 in 2006 and the Argentines calimed a 2-0 win in their only previous World Cup game in England back in 1966.
Argentina are heavy favourites at 40/85 with the Swiss all the way out at 7/1, although I don’t think it will be quite as clear cut as those prices make it appear. It’s no surprise to see Messi as short as 4/9 to score any time although that too looks a little short, even in the form he is in.
Argentina haven’t impressed at the back throughout though so I think the best of the bets on offer here is for both teams to score at 5/6, and for those looking for bigger stakes they can tie it in with a win for La Albiceleste at 21/10.