Argentina meets Bosnia tomorrow night in the Fifa World Cup from Brazil at 6:00 PM ET.
These sides have only met twice before — and never competitively — so there’s not much of a rivalry to speak of. The head-to-head is currently 2-0 in Argentina’s favour, with seven goals scored and none conceded. The last time they played was a friendly in the USA in November, which Argentina won 2-0 using a similar 5-3-2 system to the one they’ve employed in training before this match. Of course, as one of the pre-tournament favourites and an eternal heavyweight, it’s Argentina who have all the pressure to get off to a good start.
Playing their first-ever World Cup match against one of the best teams in the world — what can go wrong for Bosnia-Herzegovina? After years of struggling in mediocrity, the Dragons have finally reached the world stage. The celebration in Sarajevo after they beat Lithuania in the last match of the qualifiers, when more than 50,000 people went out on the streets and had a parade for the team, proves that for this country, just being in Brazil is equal to winning the title.
Of course, the expectations back home — and among the players — are bigger than just being tourists, but all the pressure is on Argentina. This should be the easiest match for Bosnia.
Argentina have a few players who can hold their own when it comes to good passing and attacking flair. But let’s face it, while many pre-tournament blogs talk about the importance of Angel Di María and Sergio Aguero, there’s only one man worth mentioning here.
Lionel Messi is about to begin his third World Cup; his first as an undisputed centerpiece under a proper manager, and he has a point to prove. One match isn’t going to make or break his tournament but he’d certainly love to get off to a good start, as would his legions of fans around the world.