Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WC 2014: 1st July

Argentina v/s Switzerland. Not exactly sure what Switzerland coach Hitzfield has in mind to withstand the Argie armada but it must certainly include a plan to contain Messi. The Barcelona superstar has been true to his name in this World Cup by scoring crucial solo goals. Besides Messi's genius, the other members of the Argentina team have somewhat under-performed so far, based on expectations. You've got the feeling that if Messi is on an off-day that Argentina might be in big trouble finding the net. Switzerland are clearly one of the least impressive teams to have made it from the group stages and they will certainly struggle to get something out of this match. The problem for them is the heat and the lack of depth in the team. Besides Shaquiri, there is no other player that comes close to being a constant threat or decisive match-winner. Argentina should find a way to go through.

Belgium v/s USA. I mentioned before that Belgium could go far in this tournament but I have a feeling that their litmus test will be against USA which represent a huge obstacle, in my opinion. The Belgians won all their 3 group games but they were made to struggle in all of them. They are a very talented and upcoming team but they will have to show mettle and seasoning against a battling USA team. Klinsmann has instilled belief and resilience in the Americans and they know how to keep the score close, as they did against Germany. The USA are well-organized and if they take their chances like against Ghana, they can definitely cause an upset. That is my selection.

To qualify: Argentina, USA.

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