Argentina v Bosnia Preview

Group F | Monday 16 June | Rio de Janeiro | 00:00




Group F kicks off with debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina taking on South American giants Argentina who are looking to win a third World Cup in their illustrious history.

To Win (90mins)
Argentina 9/20
Draw 34/10 
Bosnia 57/10

ARGENTINA


Many eyes will be on Argentina during the 2014 World Cup. The South Americans are one of the favourites for the title in neighbouring Brazil, and are blessed with the quality in their squad to carry through on that promise and challenge in the decisive last rounds.

A perennial favourite since the playing days of the great Diego Maradona, Argentina have not lived up to the hype since they claimed the World Cup in 1986 in Mexico.

But that hasn’t diminished the quadrennial expectations of every fan of La Albicelestes.

With a squad packed full of talent from Europe's top clubs, Argentina are certainly one of the title contenders at this year's World Cup.

After quarter-final exits in Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010, Argentina will no doubt expect a better showing in Brazil. Argentina have talent across the pitch.

However, if the team are going to break their World Cup losing streak and lift a third trophy, one man in particular is going to be crucial to their chances  Lionel Messi.

This year's World Cup in Brazil is Messi's chance to make a mark on football's greatest stage and prove to those who still have doubts about his ability.

At 26, the Barcelona maestro will be at a peak age for a footballer and he'll be surrounded by talent in an Argentine team that won the South American qualifying group.

There are a number of very good experienced players in Argentina’s squad and most will be expecting something special from their "Fantastic Quartet" of Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria.

There is so much faith put in the quartet that the in-form Juventus striker Carlos Tevez was left out of the squad completely.

Argentina’s World Cup record fits perfectly into the hemispheric advantage. The two cups they have won came on this side of the Atlantic (in 1978 on their home turf and in 1986 in Mexico).

So with the return to the Americas, history could once again smile on La Albicelestes. First they’ll need to overcome the Golden Lilies who make their debut at the world stage. 

BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be the first major tournament for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, the whole nation is already treating the team like heroes.

Most teams heading to their maiden World Cup would probably be happy just to be there, but Bosnia want more from a talented squad who stormed through qualifying to reach its first major tournament as an independent nation.

With Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic scoring 18 of the team's 30 goals to form one of the most prolific strike partnerships in qualifying, Bosnia will fancy their chances against Group F favourites Argentina.

The player to watch will be Roma’s Miralem Pjanic. The versatile attacking midfielder who can play on the wings or just behind striker will be the key player who can create chances and for the lethal strike pair of Dzeko and Ibisevic.

The deadly duo could exploit Argentina’s nervy defence. Dzeko scored 10 goals in qualification, and has always performed better with his national side than playing for Manchester City, he will be Bosnia’s biggest threat going forward.

With the likes of Dzeko, Pjanic, Ibisevic and Senad Lulic, as well as veterans Zvjezdan Misimovic and Emir Spahic, Bosnia and Herzegovina have a real core of talented players who have been together for a series of campaigns.

Most of Bosnia's starting 11 play in one of the top five European leagues, which helped them yield one of the best goal ratios in Europe during the qualifiers.

The Bosnian players are very aware of what they have accomplished, and they are bound to carry the spirit of the achievement to the World Cup and build upon the history they already created.

Betting Prediction: ARGENTINA (-1) handicap 11/10
Argentina boast the best attacking force in the World Cup with the likes of Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain at their disposal. Argentina are strong favourites at 9/20 and Bosnia are priced at 58/10. The South American giants should beat their opponents comfortably here. The handicap offers more value at 11/10 and looks a sure bet with the Argentina’s attacking talent. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

Bet on this match now at Hollywoodbets.net! Haven’t got an account? Open one here now!