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World Cup: Argentina Preview

Argentina has a loaded squad, but its defense is a major concern and they are not in an easy group.

Argentina is in Group B along with Greece, Nigeria, and South Korea.
Bovada has Argentina at +750 to win the World Cup and -225 to win Group B.

Argentina is a solid squad with many world class players, but their group is not an easy one, as Greece and Nigeria are ranked FIFA’s Top 20 teams in the world and North Korea is the best team in Asia. They started off their qualifying poorly, but came on late to come in third in the South American region.

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Argentina is one of the world powers in soccer and has won the World Cup twice (1978, 1986) and has been the runner up twice (1930, 1990).

Argentina has, arguably, the best player in the world in Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. He leads a good offense, but Argentina’s strength is their midfield led by Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano and Estudiantes de La Plata’s Juan Sebastian Veron. Mascherano is one of the best central midfielders in the world and Veron is an excellent passer with a deadly long shot. Messi will have to be on his game and the midfield will have to help him get the ball deep in the opponents’ territory.

The main weakness for Argentina is their shaky defense and lack of team play. They do not play a great team game and rely often on individual efforts. However, they have the players that can put them over the top in many matches, but their lack of cohesiveness will hurt when they play elite teams.

Legendary player Diego Maradona has come under a lot of scrutiny as the head coach since Argentina did not look good in qualifying. He lacks much big match experience and that tends to be a major disadvantage in World Cup play. He generally uses a 4-4-2 formation, but he also plays a 4-3-1-2 formation at times against solid offensive teams.

Argentina plays the opening match in Group B against an attacking Nigeria squad that will have the home field advantage. That match is a huge one, as if Argentina wins they should make it out of Group B.

Argentina has the squad to go all the way to win their first World Cup in over 20 years. Their offense will have to play well considering their defense is not their strong suit.

Argentina World Cup Schedule

6/12/2010 Argentina vs. Nigeria
6/17/2010 Argentina vs. South Korea
6/22/2010 Greece vs. Argentina