Messi and Co will be taking on Switzerland in tonight’s match, fighting for a quarter-final place.
The World Cup last 16 matches are almost over, with only one quarter-final pair left to be decided. France have left it until very late to show their supremacy over the Super Eagles, finally beating them 2-0. Germany struggled against Algeria for 90 minutes, but prevailed 2-1 in extra time. This way the much-anticipated France v Germany quarter-final has been set up.
But today it’s time to watch and admire Lionel Messi again. Punters at online sportsbooks in Argentina continue to favor the Albiceleste to win the World Cup at 5.00 odds, and Messi is still the number 1 candidate to win the Golden Boot at 2.75 odds. Argentina are taking on Switzerland for a quarter-final spot.
Road to the knockouts
Argentina will fight for a place in the quarter-finals with Switzerland tonight
•Online sportsbooks in Argentina are ready for extensive betting
•The teams have met 6 times before tonight, and Argentina is unbeaten
•Lionel Messi is expected to help the Albiceleste once again
Looking at 9 points out of 9 for Argentina in the group one might think they had an easy path, but it was all thanks to Lionel Messi scoring at the right time. Punters under Argentinean gambling laws have of course favored the Albiceleste in all their games, but they did come close to drawing against Iran and even losing against Nigeria.
And while Argentina remain one of the favorites to lift the World Cup trophy, they still need to improve their game considerably in order to get to the final. Relying on a single player to decide each and every match is not a very good idea, just remember what happened to Uruguay, when Luis Suarez was sent home.
Switzerland had to fight for their place in the knockouts, and even though they’ve lost to France, the Swiss got 6 points from wins against Honduras and Ecuador. They’ve got plenty of young talent and could certainly pose a real threat to Argentina, making the job of those who bet on sports in Argentina a bit tougher tonight. The teams have already met six times and the Albiceleste remain unbeaten with 4 winds and two draws.
Comments from the coaches
Ottmar Hitzfeld for Switzerland had the following to share: “We are the clear outsiders but we have nothing to lose and much to gain. In one game, anything is possible. We mustn’t dwell on Messi or focus just on him, as they can all pose a threat. We can make history, each and every player has their own chance to join the others in writing their own chapter.”
Argentina’s coach, Alejandro Sabella, also commented the match: “We started improving from the point of view of structure. We see an improvement as a whole. I don’t like speaking about individuals. The strikers played a better game this time. The weakness we discuss at home in private. You can win not playing well and still have things to correct, I’m pleased about the nine points but I must always improve.”
Betting on the game and the teams’ form
The Albiceleste are on excellent form with 5 wins in 5 previous matches including the 3-2 success over Nigeria. Switzerland reveal a decent form themselves: W W W L W including the 3-0 beating of Honduras.
Sergio Aguero will surely not be joining Argentina tonight, he’s suffering from a muscle injury, but there are no other injury or suspension concerns for Alejandro Sabella. He will most probably put the following line-up forward: Romero, Zabaleta, Fernandez, Garay, Rojo, Mascherano, Gago, Di Maria, Lavezzi, Messi, and Higuain.
As for Switzerland, Mario Gavranovic is lost to knee injury, but the rest of the squad is ready for action. Ottmar Hitzfeld is expected to send the following players against Argentina: Benaglio, Djourou, Schaer, Inler, Lichtsteiner, Rodriguez, Xhaka, Behrami, Mehmedi, Drmic, and Shaqiri.
No surprise that Argentina are the favorites for tonight with 1.53 odds from Bet365 compared to a line of 7.00 for the Swiss and 4.33 odds for a tie after 90 minutes. And yes, goals are expected to fall with 1-0 and 2-0 for Argentina paying at 6.50 and 7.00 respectively. 3-0 is also possible with 11.00 odds. Swiss 1-0 success is less likely and will bring a line of 15.00.
One of the World Cup best bets is backing Lionel Messi to win the Golden Boot, Argentinean striker has 2.75 odds to become top goalscorer. But in tonight’s match he is also the favorite to score first with 3.50 odds. Higuain follows with 6.00 odds, and Lavezzi got a line of 7.00. Drmic and Rodriguez are the first of the Swiss players expected to find the back of the net first with 10.00 odds each.
~ Argentina managed to squeeze past Switzerland with 1-0 win, but Messi and Co needed almost all of the extra time. Di Maria scored the winner in 118th minute after a brilliant play by Lionel Messi. Switzerland had a chance to equalize right away, but Blerim Dzemaili hit the post after a corner. Argentina will now meet Belgium in the quarters. ~