World Cup 2014: Argentina vs Switzerland – strengths, weaknesses and key men

A look ahead to the Last 16 encounter between these sides

Argentina

Strengths

They have the best player in the world and he is desperate to win the World Cup. Lionel Messi has been remarkable so far, with four goals – three of them brilliant ones – in the group stage.

Weaknesses

Despite a good defence and midfield, Argentina are yet to produce a complete performance, often appearing unbalanced, patchy and unable to control games, merely waiting for Messi to bail them out.

Key man

An easy choice, this one: Messi has been unbelievably good so far, and while the injury to the Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is a blow, it may even open up more space for him in central areas.

 

Switzerland

Strengths

A generation of young, exciting, dynamic players. They were overwhelmed by a France side on top of their game but beat Ecuador and cut through Honduras playing fast, expansive football.

Weaknesses

With Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos at the centre of defence, the Swiss are never going to be watertight. The five they conceded to France could have been far more than that.

Shaqiri hat-trick hands Switzerland date with Argentina Xherdan Shaqiri hat-trick hands Switzerland date with Argentina  

Key man

Xherdan Shaqiri is Switzerland’s answer to Lionel Messi, and his hat-trick against Honduras was a display of explosive, ruthless finishing. He could be deadly if Argentina afford him a sliver of space.

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