Argentina v Switzerland: World Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to the last-16 meeting

Argentina are considered as sure-fire favourites to progress to the quarter-finals but Switzerland have shown they are a team that should never be taken lightly. Led by Ottmar Hitzfeld, the extremely impressive Swiss ensemble will be taking on the fiery frontline of La Albiceleste.

LIVE: The latest from Argentina vs Switzerland and Belgium vs United States

The star attraction of the match will undoubtedly be Lionel Messi, who has scored four goals in three matches so far and has proven to be absolutely vital in his nation’s success in Brazil. On the other hand, Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick last week against Honduras and will pose a threat to the Argentina defence.

Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella will be without Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, who suffered a thigh injury against Nigeria, and will be replaced by Paris Saint-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, who is yet to start in the World Cup.

Switzerland coach Hitzfeld, who is set to retire after the tournament, is set to shuffle the pack, with midfielder Granit Xhaka set to take his place on the right-side of attack, with Shaqiri on the left and Josip Drmic leading the line. The former Bayern boss will be relying on Drmic to carry the weight up front as the substitute striker Mario Gavranovic suffered a knock during training, while Haris Seferovic is also out.

 

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 5pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Switzerland 1 (Shaqiri) Argentina 3 (Messi 3), International Friendly, February 2012

Switzerland 1 (Streller) Argentina 1 (Tevez), International Friendly, June 2007

Argentina 2 (Artime, Onega) Switzerland 0, World Cup, July 1966

STATS…

Switzerland have never beaten Argentina before.

Lionel Messi has scored 24 goals in his last 23 international appearances.

The Barcelona superstar can become the first Argentine player to score in four successive World Cup fixtures since Guillermo Stabile in 1930.

Last week Switzerland scored more than one goal in the first half of a World Cup match for the first time since the 1966 competition in England.

Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri became the second player to score a hat-trick at the 2014 World Cup after club team-mate Thomas Muller.

The Kosovo-born player scored the first ever left-footed hat-trick in the World Cup. This also marked the 50 hat-trick in the history of the competition.

ODDS…

Argentina to win: 1/2

Switzerland to win: 13/2

Draw: 17/5

TV: Live on BBC One at 5pm

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