2014 FIFA World Cup: Argentina vs Iran Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/21/14
Argentina (1-0) vs. Iran (0-0-1)
World Cup: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Brazil)
The Line: Argentina -800 See the Latest Odds
Argentina look for their second win in as many tries on Saturday as they take on Iran after upending Bosnia and Herzegovina in their tournament opener.
Lionel Messi has been regarded as one of the best football players not just of this generation but is in the conversation of being one of the best of all time but one knock on the Argentine forward has been his play in international competition. However, with one swing of the boot he netted his first World Cup goal and has a huge load of his shoulders which could be a very scary thought for the rest of the team’s in this competition, starting with Saturday’s opponent from Iran. Argentina are always considered a favourite to compete on the world stage but with this being played in Brazil and Messi in the prime of his career the Albiceleste are one of the co-favourites to win the tournament and they can reiterate that on Saturday with a convincing victory. Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered the stiffest competition for the Argentines in the group stage and now that they have a two goal win against them it should be smooth sailing until the knockout stage, at least on paper.
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Iran came into this tournament considered one of the weakest teams offensively and we saw that demonstrated quite well in their tournament opener against Nigeria as they played to a 0-0 draw. Despite their anemic offense, Iran actually played a pretty solid defensive game and while Nigeria and Argentina are light years apart in terms of talent you would have to think that they would come out with the same mindset against the heavy favourites and set up a shut down formation to limit the availability of Messi. Unfortunately for Iran, Argentina have a ton of weapons in the form of Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero, and Gonzalo Higuain so shutting down one player won’t matter too much and I expect those guys to step up if Messi is limited on the touch. The problem here is the line is so big despite warranting as such but when you see a defensive minded team like Iran playing for their lives it could be tough for the opposition to pour on the goals. I would suggest buying up half a goal here and salvaging a push at worst in this spot and getting the total at three goals.