2014 World Cup – Group F
Argentina vs Bosnia-Herzegovina
Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sunday, June 15, 2014, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: Bosnia +945 / Argentina -335 / Draw +445
Point Line: Argentina -1 1/2 -108 / Bosnia-Herzegovina +1 1/2 -112
Total: over 2 1/2 -170 / under 2 1/2 +145
All Odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Argentina is considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup in neighboring Brazil. Argentina opens up play Sunday night in Rio de Janeiro against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group F play.
Argentina has beaten Bosnia-Herzegovina both times they have played in friendlies, outscoring them 7-0 in those two games. They played a friendly in St. Louis, Missouri in November and Argentina won 2-0. That game was scheduled before they knew they would meet in the group stage of the World Cup.
Argentina is making their 16th appearance in the World Cup and 11th straight. Argentina has won two World Cups but none since since 1986. They lost in the final in 1990, but haven’t advanced past the quarters since then. Argentina was crushed by Germany 4-0 in the quarterfinals in 2010.
Argentina is #5 in the FIFA rankings. Argentina started off CONMEBOL qualifying with an unimpressive 1-2-1 record. However, they then went on a 14 match unbeaten stretch to complete qualifying and win the group easily with 32 points. Argentina scored 35 goals and allowed 15 in qualifying. Argentina is coached by Alejandro Sabella, who took over after Copa America 2011. Argentina has gone 3-1-2 in their last six games, and hasn’t conceded a goal since a 3-2 loss to Uruguay on the last day of CONMEBOL qualifying. That game was meaningless for Argentina as they had clinched the group long before that game.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is making their first appearance in the World Cup. However, they lost to Portugal in a playoff to qualify for both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. The nation was part of the former Yugoslavia but gained independence in the early ’90’s after the country broke up.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is #21 in the FIFA rankings. Bosnia tied with Greece with 25 points in their UEFA qualifying group. Bosnia got the automatic berth based on goal differential. Greece had to play Romania in a two leg playoff. Bosnia scored 30 goals in qualifying and conceded only 6. Safet Susic is the coach for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia went 3-2-1 in their last six games including a 1-0 win over Mexico earlier this month in their last game.
Argentina uses a 4-3-3 formation. Argentina’s attack begins with the brilliant Lionel Messi, one of the best if not the best player in the World. Although in two previous World Cups he has only scored one goal total. Argentina will likely be without a key piece in forward Gonzalo Higuain who is doubtful with an ankle injury. Sergio Aguero along with midfielders Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel di Maria are also quality. The only question is on the back line, and they could be vulnerable to an attacking team. Sergio Romero is one of the best keepers in the world and might have to clean up some messes made by a leaky defense.
Bosnia-Herzegovina will employ a 4-2-3-1 system. Edin Dzeko will be the sole striker and had 10 goals and 4 assists during qualifying. Vidad Ibisevic scored 8 goals of his own in qualifying. Zvjezdan Misimovic and Miralem Pjanic can also score from the midfield. Like Argentina, Bosnia has questions about the defense. Keeper Asmir Begovic is a good keeper but he could face a lot of shots from the high powered Argentine attack.
This could be a high scoring game with two great offenses and questionable defenses. Even without Higuain Argentina still has a ton of weapons. I like Argentina to win 3-2.
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