Argentina led the way in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, finishing atop the standings and securing a place in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. By landing in Group F, they have a very high likelihood of running away with the group, because Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iran are nowhere near the same talent level as Argentina.
Led by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Argentina boast an extremely talented roster. Up top, the Argentians have Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, they have Javier Mascherano and Angel di Maria in the midfield, and in the defense they have two world-class defenders in Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta; all of whom could start for any team in the world.
I believe the Argentinians are a dark horse to make it to the 2014 World Cup final. They have a fairly easy run of games in the group stage against beatable teams. However, the problem with them is that, like Germany, they recently tended to underperform when they are favored. If they finish first in their group and other groups go as planned, they could face extremely talented sides such as Belgium and France before facing Spain in the semifinals.
Argentina have what it takes to win it all, but they aren’t going to get any breaks along the way. Expect a quarterfinal or semifinal exit for Messi and co. as their competition is far too stiff.
Group Stage Game One: Argentina vs. Bosnia – Sunday, June 15, 6 p.m. EST on ESPN
Group Stage Game Two: Argentina vs. Iran – Saturday, June 21, Noon EST on ESPN
Group Stage Game Three: Argentina vs. Nigeria – Wednesday, June 25, Noon EST on ESPN