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?
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Mexican captain Rafael Marquez admitted that Argentina are favorites – not surprisingly given that they have lost only four of the 25 matches between the teams – and claimed Mexico would need to play a perfect game to win.Skip to next paragraph
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That kind of talk might involve a bit of psychology designed to take the pressure of his teammates. Marquez also said: “Defensively they are not the greatest, they have some problems on the flanks. If we set out our attack well then we can perhaps take advantage of that weakness.”
Maradona will change his team to try and counter those weaknesses, and looks set to keep Nicolas Otamendi in at full back in place of the erratic Jonas Gutierrez. In midfield, the more robust Maxi Rodriguez looks set to replace the slower Veron.
Much of the build up to this game has focused on Rodriguez, the Liverpool midfielder who scored the goal that separated the teams in 2006. That strike, a cracking 30-yard volley in the 98th minute (extra time), was one of the best goals of the tournament and brought him to the world’s attention.
Rodriguez has been in and out of the Argentina side ever since and began this World Cup as understudy to Veron. He will welcome this chance to relive his finest hour, as well as to put one over on Javier Aguirre, the Mexican coach who was his boss at Atletico Madrid.
It won’t be easy, but Argentina have the better players and should prevail.
World Cup 101:
- World Cup 101: How does the tournament work?
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup such a big deal?
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup in South Africa?
- World Cup 101: Is South Africa really prepared to host the World Cup?
- World Cup 101: Who’s favored to win it all?