All about the Argentina Team at Football World Cup 2018
After a tumultuous qualification campaign in which Argentina only picked up their first win in the fifth game, in which they drew as many games as they won, and in which a final day victory secured their passage to Russia 2018, Argentina will be at the World Cup. And with some of the finest attacking talent that the planet has to offer, the beaten finalists of the last World Cup have every right to believe that they can go one better this year.
Tips for Betting on Argentina in the World Cup 2018
A huge factor in Argentina’s qualification and their hopes in the tournament fall on the shoulders of their attacking flair, and nobody can ever doubt Lionel Messi’s eye for a goal. At odds of 10 or 9/1, Lionel Messi is many people’s favourite for the tournament golden boot award. Argentina’s record goalscorer can score all sorts of goals and is often the man to break open a tight game, so he is the man that can be relied on for goals, not to mention that he will be the man over all of Argentina’s set pieces.
Argentina to win group at 1.7 or 7/10 is another safe bet. Their group sees them as clear favourites to win, mainly because of the strength of the opposition as much as anything. All of their opponents are solid sides, but none look like having the capability to match up to the prowess of Jorge Sampaoli’s men.
Argentina as the top South American Team comes in at 2.875 or 15/8. This is a riskier bet, but as far as South American teams go, the main contenders at this World Cup are Brazil and Argentina. While the path is difficult for Argentina, Brazil are set to be tasked with perhaps a more difficult road including potential games against the likes of Belgium and France. Taking this into account, and matched with their prior tournament experience, the best South American bet might well be Argentina.
Betting Odds on Argentina to Win the World Cup 2018
The odds on Argentina look pretty tempting, with them lined up as a 9.5 or 17/2 bet at the moment. For a squad as talented as theirs is, these odds might be a little bit long and offer great value. While true that they would have to come through a pretty torrid path after the quarterfinals, on their day Argentina are a side that would fancy their chances against any other in the world.
Expected Argentina Lineup at the World Cup
Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is the first choice goalkeeper, with a settled back line of Mercado, Mascherano and the vastly improved Nicolas Otamendi in front of him. A solid defence, all of the players fit in with the philosophy of the manager to play out where possible thanks to Mascherano’s conversion from central midfield to central defence, and Otamendi’s transformation under Pep Guardiola into a centre back extremely comfortable on the ball.
Lucas Biglia and Enzo Perez are expected to anchor the midfield, providing a secure base in the centre of the pitch. Alongside them, Argentina will line up with the highly exciting Eduardo Salvio and Marcos Acuna. The job of these four is to press and harry the opposition, shoring up the spine of the team and providing a platform for the ball to be funnelled forward.
Up front is where the real magic happens, however. Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala will line up next to the star man Lionel Messi in what is the tournament’s most exciting attacking trio. In Dybala they have a goalscorer, in Di Maria they have the ability to unlock defences with dribbles, and then they have Lionel Messi who can do it all and then some.
Known for his tactical innovations, Sampaoli’s Argentina will likely line up in a 3-4-3 formation. However, a hallmark of the manager’s sides is the fluid ability to switch formations combined with a relentless pressing style very much akin to Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa.
The defensive line has a combination of no-nonsense tackling matched with the vision and technique to break opposition defensive lines with their passing. Otamendi, Mascherano and Mercado are backed up by the likes of Emanuel Mammana and Federico Fazio, and they may be needed throughout the tournament. This is going to be Mascherano’s last tournament, and his legs might not be able to stand up to the intensity of tournament football.
The midfield is strong, with the starters being backed up by Ever Banega and Diego Perotti. Both provide strong alternatives, but the midfield can appear slightly unbalanced with not much width in the whole squad. Argentina might struggle against sides who sit in deep and force them wide to swing in crosses.
Up front, the raft of options available to Argentina is absolutely incredible. The attacking trio keeps the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Mauro Icardi and Cristian Pavon out of the starting line up. The only thing that could possibly stop the attack of Argentina is themselves, as has been known to happen. With a talent like Lionel Messi, there sometimes is the temptation to depend on him which has hindered the side before.
Lionel Messi is the undoubted star of the team. Team captain, record goalscorer and quite possibly the best player in the history of the game, he scored a hat trick to drag his side to this tournament and has the ability to be the difference against any defence in the world. He will be looking to make his mark on what could be his final World Cup, and a winning tournament would remove any doubt as to his status as the best footballer to ever play.
Paulo Dybala is the man who Argentina will be looking towards to take some of the goalscoring burdens away from Messi. The Juventus striker has an unnerving calm in front of goal but can additionally make something out of nothing. A composed finisher, Dybala can finish with power, precision or both when needed, as well as being a very good dribbler who is particularly fond of a nutmeg.
Angel di Maria
Alongside both will be Angel di Maria, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger. Since his move to Paris Saint Germain, di Maria has revitalised his career and showcased the full range of his mesmerising dribbling ability. Comfortable on either wing, di Maria has the surging pace to storm past defenders and has a knack for arriving late in the box to finish off any cutbacks. If he finds himself one on one with a goalkeeper, keep an eye out for him to provide a chipped finish.