The two-time winners of the World Cup, both in 1978 and 1986 under the legendary Maradona, Argentina has managed to finish second in three World Cups, including a heartbreaking loss to Germany in the finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. While their leader, Lionel Messi, managed to win Best Player, it was not enough for them to win in the finals.
It does seem that heartbreak is part of the Argentina history in World Cup action, such as their valiant, but ultimately failed attempt to win back-to-back titles in 1990 despite reaching the finals by only scoring five goals. Still, they are a force to be reckoned with and no team should take them lightly.
Although they finished third in the South American section of the qualifying rounds, it should be noted that Argentina was close to not qualifying at all until the came back to beat Ecuador in a thrilling comeback all thanks to their legendary player, Lionel Messi.
Players to Watch
Sergio Aguero: This fierce striker will be the one to take advantage of what his teammates offer so they can beat the opposition. While highly talented, it does appear that Aguero has yet to match his amazing abilities with his production on the pitch. Although his current count of 36 goals in 84 matches is quite good, it’s not the superstar numbers that is expected from him. Still, Aguero is talented, determined, and well-positioned to make Argentina a great team.
Javier Mascherano: This celebrated center-back is just behind the legendary Javier Zanetti in being the most capped in Argentina history. He will get his chance during the World Cup this year to beat Zanetti’s record. What’s perhaps most amazing about Mascherano is that he started as a midfielder and made the transition to center-back so smoothly that it appears he was born for the role. Immensely talented and determined, Mascherano will no-doubt play a huge role in Argentina’s chances to win the World Cup this year.
Lionel Messi: Of course, all eyes will be on one of the biggest names in the sport, the legendary Lionel Messi. He recently became Argentina’s all-time scorer, beating out Gabriel Batistuta and provides the team with an identity that keeps them in every game. Although Messi is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, he remains in top-form and will no doubt lead Argentina on the pitch.
Bet the World Cup
Argentina is the clear favorite to win Group D. Football/Soccer fans have been betting this team hard for years, so why should it stop now? They have the greatest player in the game, and made it to the finals in the last World Cup. To think that they won’t win the Group stage in Russia is silly.
Messi and company’s first match is June 16 vs Iceland. Iceland beat the odds to qualify, but unfortunately drew their first match against Argentina. Argentina should easy win this match up, and be well positioned to win the group afterward.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Odds To Win Group D
Argentina is 9/1 to win the entire tournament. We like those odds for the 2014 World Cup runner-up. At 9/1 you can bet on a quality team, while still getting decent odds. I don’t think you can go wrong betting this team to win it all, if you like them.
Betting the Top Goal Scorer
Something to consider is when betting on the top goal scorer is how long their team will stay in the tournament. We’ve already mentioned that Argentina is favored to go deep, so a bet on Messi isn’t unreasonable.
Chances for Winning
While having a mediocre qualifying round does not predict that Argentina will come up short in reaching the World Cup finals, it does appear that the team has peaked and is now on the downside. Despite the heroics of Messi, he is not the entire team and they will have to step up, particularly Aguero, if they want to reach the finals again.
It will be chemistry, age, and determination that will ultimately decide the fate of Argentina, but it does appear that unless everyone steps up their game that this team is past its prime. Look for Argentina to compete strong in the initial groups but fail to get into the semi-finals.