2014 World Cup Preview: Switzerland vs. Argentina
Argentina will be facing a Switzerland side that should not be underestimated, especially since Lionel Messi and company have only won their group games by a single goal each. The Swiss were dominated against France earlier in the tournament, but they recovered against an admittedly weakened Honduras side courtesy of a 3-0 victory. Now, they face what is arguably their toughest test in the World Cup Round of 16.
Messi has four goals to his name thus far and will look to continue that trend against a tough Swiss defense. He has Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero starting with him as they can provide plenty of leverage to make him look good. However, he did score two goals all on his own with some beautiful individual magic. He will look to be the same influence tomorrow as most of his other teammates have been misfiring.
Argentina has been relying on their quickness on and off the ball. Offensively, the team has been able to dictate play and hold onto possession comfortably. Their biggest issue is on defense where they have been having to bail themselves out at the very last second, or Sergio Romero (keeper) completed that job. This is the weakest aspect of their team when watching their games. Statistically speaking, they have only allowed three goals in three games. But they have been extremely lucky with that number. Tomorrow, they have to shape up and drop back more often to halt any danger.
Switzerland will be relying on their No. 23, Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored a hat-trick against Honduras in the big win. he will be their biggest threat going forward as he is strong, fast, skilled and knows how and when to position himself in front of frame. It is safe to say that he will have more than one chance tomorrow. He will have to be their very best going forward.
Their defense will have to stay on if they go down 1-0 or 2-0 after making some poor decisions. Against France, they went down 5-0 before finally hitting the opposing net. Tomorrow, they face a team that attacks at an even quicker pace with more talent than they have faced up till now. They will have to accept playing more defensively than they have and try to hit the shaky opposing defense.
Prediction: Argentina 3, Switzerland 1
The Argentinians will once again be led by Messi who will find the net at least once while Shaqiri will either score or set up one of his teammates. This game will be interesting until the South Americans finally hit their stride later on to win as expected.
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