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Argentina

Argentina World Cup odds, tips and betting promos live on Footballtips.com

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Argentina are the team rated by the bookmakers to be the biggest danger at the 2014 World Cup to hosts and favourites Brazil.
 
One of the two superpowers in South American football, Argentina will be seeking a third triumph in the biggest tournament on the planet having won on home soil in 1978 and again eight years later in Mexico when led to glory by Diego Maradona.
 
Now it’s another magician with the ball at his feet whom they hope will serve as the inspiration to his team-mates, as Lionel Messi bids to replicate the incredible form he has produced for Barcelona over the last few years.
 
Messi has yet to prove himself as the same force in international football as he has at club level, this being the third World Cup he will have contested.
 
In 2006 he was only 18 and on the fringes of the team as Argentina lost on penalties in the quarter-finals to Germany, while four years ago he and his team-mates suffered a 4-0 thrashing at the same stage of the competition to the same country.
 
Now theoretically at the peak of his career, this will be the perfect opportunity for Messi to reinforce his status as one of the greatest players of all time.
 
But Argentina are not, of course, a one-man team by any means and they also have world-class centre forwards in Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, another terrific creative influence in Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria and a strong defence marshalled by Ezequiel Garay.
 
They topped the South American qualifying zone and now go into a World Cup Group F campaign which is among the more straightforward to have befallen the favourites.
 
On Sunday June 15, ‘La Albiceleste’ get under way against World Cup newcomers Bosnia and Herzegovina in Rio de Janeiro, then have to wait six days until they are back in action again when they take on Iran in Belo Horizonte.
 
Argentina’s final opponents of the round-robin phase are Nigeria in Porto Alegre on June 25, after which they will hope to reach the semi-finals or beyond for the first time since finishing runners-up to Germany in 1990.

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