Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group F - Argentina

Nickname: "La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blues")

FIFA ranking: 6th

Coach: Former pro Alejandro Sabella

Game Schedule:
June 15 – Argentina vs. Bosnia & Herzogovina (Rio, 6:00 p.m. EST, ESPN)
June 21 – Argentina vs. Iran (Belo Horizonte, 3:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 25 – Argentina vs. Nigeria (Porto Alegre, 3:00 p.m., ESPN)

Prospects: On paper, Argentina have everything going for them: a defense anchored by veterans such as Zabaleta  and Dimichelis; a midfield in which Maxi Rodriguez is surplus to requirements; and possibly the most potent attack in world football that includes Higuain, Aguero and Messi. Add to that a relatively easy ride through to the quarterfinals, at which point they probably meet Belgium, and Argentina fans might be forgiven for dreaming of a third World Cup win this summer. But I've picked Argentina to win in the past only to see them fall apart.

Key Player: Lionel Messi - for a player who is generally considered the best footballer in the world, it's time to step up and lead his team and himself to eternal greatness. Interestingly, Diego Maradona, with whom he's often compared, won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina almost single-handedly at age 26. Messi is now 26.

Youngster to watch: This is a very seasoned side, with 24 year old Sporting Lisbon left back Marcos Rojo the youngest of the bunch.

Who Will Get the Goals: Messi? DiMaria? Aguero? Higuain? Take your pick; there are lots of weapons.

Who Will Get the Cards: Barcelona destroyer Javier Mascherano starts on a yellow in my book.

Prediction: An cakewalk through an easy Group F, leading to an easy win over Ecuador in the Round of 16. That all leads to what promises to be one of the most thrilling match-ups this summer. I'm predicting a tight exit against dark horses Belgium in a 4-3 rollercoaster.

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