|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleTuesday, 1 July 2014 at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 21:30 IST
VenueArena Corinthians (São Paulo)
Next Tuesday, Argentina will go head-to-head with Switzerland at the Arena Corinthians in the frantic city of São Paulo on what will be the last day of the Round of 16 stage.
It is fair to say that Argentina’s performances during this World Cup tournament have been far from exciting. La Albiceleste started their campaign against Bosnia and Herzegovina on a match during which both teams fell short of expectations. Argentina ended up winning the match 2-1, especially because of a moment of pure genius from Lionel Messi on the second-half that annihilated Bosnia’s faint aspirations of getting the equalizer. On their second match, Argentina managed to display an even poorer image of themselves as they overcame Iran by 1-0 thanks once again to a fantastic goal from Barcelona's versatile forward. Finally, last week, when La Albiceleste measured forces with Nigeria, there were some glimpses of what this team can really do. Argentina won the match by 3-2 and despite the quality attacking football they displayed, they have also exposed some blatant deficiencies on their defensive sector.
The Argentinian head-coach Alejandro Sabella is yet to prove his team’s real value at the tournament and he is already facing some understandable criticism. From the constant tactical variations to a somewhat “cold” relationship with his players, Sabella has not yet managed to get the best out of his brilliant set of footballers.
As for Switzerland, facing a major title contender such as La Albiceleste will pose a good opportunity for them to erase the poor image they made of themselves on the match against France from their supporters’ minds.
The Swiss team were one of the European most impressive teams during the World Cup qualification round, but they have failed to replicate such top quality performances in this tournament so far. On their opening match, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s boys struggled to defeat a brave Ecuadorian side and during the second group clash they were reduced to dust by France. In fact, the Swiss team only managed to display some of their power on the last group match against Honduras, a game they won by 3-0 with a vintage performance from the Bayern Munich's versatile winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who netted in a splendid hat-trick.
Because of their history in this type of competition, Argentina are favourites to win next Tuesday’s match, although their recent unconvincing performances might offer the Swiss team some chances of winning the clash and disrupt the Argentinean dream of claiming the World Cup title for the first time since 1986.
Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
Recent Form - WWWWW
Stats: W-4 L-1 D-0
Recent Form - WLWWW
Argentina (4-3-3) - Romero - Zabaleta - Rojo - Garay - Fernández - Gago - Mascherano - Di Maria - Messi - Palacios - Higuaín
Switzerland (4-2-3-1) - Benaglio - Lichtsteiner - Senderos - Djourou - Rodriguez - Inler - Dzemaili - Xhaka - Shaqiri - Mehmedi - Drmic