Argentina (1-0) vs. Iran (0-0-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday June 21, 2014, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Argentina -800
In an important group F World Cup match, Iran and Argentina will take the field Saturday afternoon.
Argentina did what a lot of people expected by beginning its World Cup run with a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina. While the 2-1 win wasn’t spectacular, it did allow Lionel Messi to score his first career World Cup goal. If arguably the greatest player ever can get going in this tournament, Argentina can truly fulfill expectations by winning the entire thing. Argentina needs to put together a more complete match by starting the first half with a little more energy if they want to keep winning. One thing that should help is the return of Rodrigo Palacio, who missed the last match with an ankle injury.
Iran settled for a draw in its first match against Nigeria and would accept anything but a loss in this match just to stay alive. Iran knew that it’s offense is extremely limited, so it decided to play a passive game and focus on defense. This worked against an equal competitor, but Argentina has a lot more weapons that could expose Iran in this matchup. A player such as Javad Nekounam will have to get going and give Iran scoring opportunities for them to have any chance of getting the full three points. However, Reza Ghoochannejhad did mention that Iran has nothing to lose and will play loose, which always makes this a dangerous team.
It’s no secret that Argentina should win this game, as Iran has little answers on the offensive end to keep up in this match. However, the spread is absolutely insane. I like Iran to keep it closer than expected simply because of its defense and Argentina’s likelihood of sitting on an early lead.
Give me Iran and the points.