Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Bosnia face baptism of firepower in first ever World Cup match

The Group F opener in Rio de Janeiro could be an attacking affair

Bosnia-Herzegovina reached their first World Cup by playing a brazen attacking style of football that resulted in 30 goals in qualifying. Sticking to that strategy in their big-stage debut against Argentina tomorrow would be bold – some would say foolish. But that appears to be coach Safet Susic’s plan.

For Susic has a reputation of stubbornly adhering to his attacking strategy regardless of the opponents. Even against an Argentina team led by four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, there is only so much he is willing to tweak in his game-plan.

“It is a dilemma for me, but to sacrifice a player just to man-mark Messi, I don’t think it would be good for us,” Safic said. “I don’t think we have ever played a match having dedicated a player to man-mark a specific opponent, and it’s going to be the same  against Argentina.”

His words suggest the Group F opener in Rio de Janeiro could be an entertaining affair, with both teams going on the attack.

 

Argentina are chasing their third World Cup with perhaps the strongest striking line-up in the tournament. Messi, Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain scored more than 100 goals for their clubs last season.

The Argentina coach, Alejandro Sabella, is likely to let either Lavezzi or Higuain join up with Messi and Aguero in a three-man attack, with Angel di Maria surging from midfield to add even more firepower.

Edin Dzeko #11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina celebrates a goal against the Ivory Coast during the first half of a friendly match at Edward Jones Dome Edin Dzeko #11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina celebrates a goal against the Ivory Coast during the first half of a friendly match at Edward Jones Dome  

Bosnia played their first match as an independent nation in 1995 as the war ended following the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. They came close to qualifying for the previous World Cup and the European Championship in 2012 before finally reaching a big tournament with this World Cup.

Nevertheless, 1978 and 1986 World Cup winners Argentina will still head into the match as the overwhelming favourites.

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