Argentina head into Tuesday’s second round clash with Switzerland keen to impress after three so-so showings against inferior opposition like Iran, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Currently available at 1/2 to win in 90 minutes, La Albiceleste may be in luck as they line up against a team no doubt still smarting from a 5-2 mauling at the hands of France.
Switzerland are a distant 6/1 to win in normal time with those backing the game to head to extra time offered odds of 10/3 with Ladbrokes.
But in the build-up to what is sure to be another memorable World Cup encounter, we’ve had a look at all the markets for this game to bring you three of the bestbets on offer.
While Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain have so far floundered for Argentina, one man who looks intent on dragging the South Americans all the way to the final is Lionel Messi.
The 27-year-old has put a disappointing season with Barcelona behind him, scoring decisive goals in each of Argentina’s three group games as part of a four-goal haul that has seen him soar towards the top of the tournament scoring charts.
Another goal against Switzerland looks even more assured when you consider that Messi racked up three the last time Argentina met them in a friendly back in 2012 and when he scores, Argentina invariably win.
Despite strolling to a 3-0 victory over Honduras in their final game, it’s likely that Switzerland will remain scarred by their 5-2 mauling at the hands of European rivals France, a result that could have been far worse were it not for two late goals from the Swiss.
That game will have served as a timely reminder to Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team of where they stand in the order of things when it comes to the World Cup and with it being 60 years since La Nati last qualified for the quarter-finals, an early Argentina goal could open the floodgates again here.
Should Messi find the net in the first half, then another defeat by a three goal margin could be on the cards.
Fresh from becoming the first Swiss player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game since striker Josef Hügi way back in 1954, the Bayern Munich man is eager to impress at these finals amid rumours linking the attacking midfielder with a move away from the Allianz.
Keen to enjoy more first-team opportunities, another goal against an Argentina team he previously netted against in the aforementioned friendly of 2012 looks a great shout, even if it is a consolation.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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