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Mexico vs. Argentina: Why El Tri will struggle to challenge Lionel Messi's Argentina

Mexico has proven itself to be a tough squad in this World Cup, but can they contain Lionel Messi – Argentina's new Maradona – in today's Mexico vs. Argentina match?

By Andrew DownieCorrespondent / June 27, 2010

FASHION GOD? Argentina's coach Diego Maradona arrived at a press conference in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday. Will his tactical decisions help of hurt Argentina's chances to win today's Mexico vs. Argentina match in the World Cup's round of 16?

Ricardo Mazalan/AP

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The Mexico vs. Argentina match-up in Johannesburg this afternoon is one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the second round.

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First and foremost, it pits two of the tournament’s most attacking teams against one another. Second, it gives Mexico a chance to avenge their defeat by Argentina at the same stage four years ago. And third, there is the almost addictive spectacle of soccer legend and current Argentine coach, Diego Maradona.

Maradona's men have arguably been the team of the tournament so far – just as the soberly suited former star has been the fashion king of the coaches.

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Argentina have turned it on in the last third of the field and their tally of seven goals is more than any other team bar Portugal (which scored all its goals against whipping boys North Korea), and Germany (which, with today's crushing 4-1 defeat over England, has now played one more game than Argentina).

Lionel Messi looks hungry, Juan Sebastian Veron is capable of carving out openings from deep, and center-forward Gonzalo Higuain is always dangerous. His strike partner Carlitos Tevez has given his customary 110 percent and if that were not enough, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero are perhaps the two best substitutes in the tournament.

Aguero, in particular, proved in coming off the bench against South Korea and when starting against Greece that he has the power to disorientate defences.

The trouble for Argentina is that their defense teeters on the verge of shambolic. If Mexico can run at them – and players like Giovanni dos Santos, Carlos Vela, and Pablo Barrera have already shown they are dangerous when taking the game to their opponents – then there could be a goal fest.

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