FIFA 2014 Round of 16 Predictions: Match #55 Argentina vs. Switzerland
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 27, 2014 11:18 AM EST
Argentina 1 Switzerland 0 (120')
Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates after scoring against Nigeria during their 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 25, 2014.
Match number 55 is the seventh match of the knock-out stages. Argentina won all 3 matches in the group stage to collect 9 points to finish on top of Group F. Switzerland, on the other hand, won 2 and drew 1 to collect 6 points to finish second in Group E.
Argentina: Thanks to Lionel Messi, Argentina was favoured as one of the top contenders to win the World Cup when it started the tournament. However, its performance was far from impressive in the first two matches. Even though it managed to win both the matches, Argentina failed to impress those fans who had expected their team to dominate comparatively weaker oppositions like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran. However, the high point was Messi's performance. Messi, who had often been criticised for his lack of performance in World Cups, scored the winning goals in both the matches. To call those goals extraordinary is an understatement. Argentina, on the other hand, needed its other players to perform. Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero have not been in their best of forms. The match against Nigeria proved to be a major comeback for Alejandro Sabella's team. Di Maria was outstanding, and Argentina looked great as a team for the first time. Messi scored twice in the 3-2 win. The defence, nevertheless, looked extremely fragile. Argentina needs to be more resolute in its defence if it aspires to move ahead in the tournament.
Switzerland: Switzerland's start was shaky. Even though it started the tournament as one of the strongest teams, the first match almost turned out to be a disaster for the European team. Ecuador went ahead with a goal, and the Swiss failed to score in the first half. Admir Mehmedi started the second half with an equaliser. When it looked like a disappointing 1-1 draw for Switzerland, Haris Seferović scored at the 93rd minute and secured a win. The next match against France was miserable for the Swiss. It lost 2-5 against its European counterpart. Ottmar Hitzfeld's team looked fallible. It had to win against Honduras to qualify for the next round. Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick to storm his team to the next round with a 3-0 win. Switzerland's defence, just like Argentina's, looks brittle at times. Hitzfeld said that his team would have "nothing left to lose" against Argentina, which indicated the Swiss were going to play in a relaxed mood in that match.
Head to Head
These two teams played 6 times against each other before. Argentina won 4, and the other 2 ended in a draw. There were 17 goals scored in total. Argentina scored 14 of those and Switzerland 3.
Argentina: Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria
Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka
Date, Time & Venue
Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 1 pm (local time) on July 1, which means it is 2 am on July 2 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Arena de São Paulo in São Paulo.
The Swiss defence will falter again, so will the Argentine one. However, Argentina's strikers will score more goals and win it 4-2.
Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au
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