World Cup Argentina Betting Tips and Odds
Betting Guide to Argentina
Argentina coach Maradona has defied all of his critics in getting the South Americans to the Quarter Finals of the 2010 World Cup. Not that there was any doubt at all over the ability that was in the team, the only doubts were over whether or not they could play as a team. They clearly can, and they have won their last nine matches now, and that has been a stark contrast in form to where they were just a few months ago. Argentina travelled to Germany in March of this year to play an International Friendly. Maradona described that match as a World Cup match, in which the South Americans won 1-0, but played a defensive set up that was designed to counter the new found attacking threat of Germany. Maradona got in right on that day, but the set up was a departure from the attacking formation that Argentina are playing with at the moment. That victory was an important building block for Argentina, as it showed they could compete with some of Europe’s best, and now they get the chance to do it all over again as they face Germany in the quarter finals at South Africa 2010. In terms of World Cup betting, they were sitting behind Brazil and Spain going into the tournament, but after winning all of their group matches, and after overpowering the Mexicans, prices really are split between Brazil, Spain and now Argentina.
Argentina are perhaps stronger than some people will have expected, as they are showing a solidarity that was not particularly their strong point during qualification from the South American zone. They have pulled together, or more importantly Maradona has pulled them together. They have gone through some miserable turmoil as a football nation, but the transformation is probably as much of a surprise to their own fans, just as it is to people all across the world watching the tournament. Maradona asks his defenders to do their job, defend, and there is not a lot of adventure from the back, and it is in the full back areas which they are probably weakest. That’s where opposing teams will be able to attack them, but you always feel that there is a lot more strength in their attack than in their defence. They have a phenomenal amount of potency up front, and when you can sit strikers Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero on the bench, you are not doing too badly. They can only really be matched by Brazil in terms of striking ability and creativity, and a final between those two teams would be a fitting end to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Tactics: Argentina set up in a 4-3-1-2 formation. Key man for them is of course Lionel Messi, and Maradona has found a clever way to get him into the game as much as possible. Messi is generally sitting in behind the two strikers of Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain, and while he has been creator, it’s a little surprising that he hasn’t found the back of the net. But the fact of the matter is that has not had to, as he is firmly at the heart of a team. The formation allows Argentina to dominate in midfield, with players able to both hold and break forward with equal measure. The quality of players that they have in the midfield like Angel Di Maria, Juan Sebastian Veron and Maxi Rodriguez, means that they can comfortably stroke the ball around until an opening is created, or just get the ball to Messi in the hole behind the two strikers and something will happen. They can be patient and they can break out of defence quickly with their formation. Against Germany in March, Maradona went with a 4-4-2 formation, keeping Messi up front with Higuain. While it gone the job done, it took a lot away from their natural attacking prowess, and Maradona is leaning heavily on the attacking formation. They have not really been tested at the back too much, but Mexico showed that there are holes there if a team really has a go at their back line. But teams have been sitting off them because of their formation, trying to pick up Messi to negate their threat. The key will be getting wide against them, and Germany have the wingers to do just that.
Coach: Maradona – what is left to say about the man? We can skip over all of the controversies about him, and concentrate solely on the job he is doing at the moment. This is his first time as a coach at a major tournament, and he is carrying himself well. There is a noticeable respect between Maradona and his players, and he appears to be one of the team as opposed to a strong unapproachable disciplinarian in the mould of Marcelo Bielsa or Fabio Capello. If he has come up with the formation all on his own, then he has to take a world of credit for that, and for putting his faith in players to fit into a system which is largely build around getting the ball to Lionel Messi. At the moment he deserves all the plaudits that he can get, it will be interesting to see his reaction when Argentina find their backs against the wall. That will be the true test of his managerial skills.
Argentina World Cup 2010 Stats
Argentina 3, Mexico 1
Argentina 2, Greece 0
Argentina 4, South Korea 1
Argentina 1, Nigeria 0
Goals: 10 For, 2 Against
Cards: Y5, SY0, R0
Top Passer: Lionel Messi (Passes 267 Completion Rate 73%)
Most Fouls: Javier Mascherano 8
Last 10 Match Argentina Form: WLWWWWWWWW
Probable Route to Winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup: Germany (Q/F), Spain (S/F), Brazil (F)
Argentina Betting Tips
Stage of Elimination
Quarter Finals: 13/10 at Bet365
Semi Finals: 11/4 at Ladbrokes
Winners: 3/1 at Ladbrokes
Runners Up: 5/1 at Bet365
To Reach Final
No – 7/18 at Bwin
Yes – 7/4 at Bwin
Argentina’s Top Goal scorer at Ladbrokes
Gonzalo Higuain 1/5 (4 goals)
Carlos Tevez 4/1 (2 goals)
Lionel Messi 5/1 (0 goals)
Martin Palermo 33/1 (1 goal)
Gabriel Heinze 40/1 (1 goal)
Tip: Argentina will face their biggest test of the campaign so far against Germany, as Germany will not be so afraid of attacking them as other teams have been. It should be too great teams going at each other really, and hopefully it will be an open game. Germany are not a great side but are above average, while Argentina are close to being a great team. Betting will lean towards Argentina, simply because they have looked the stronger team throughout. They had an easy group and that will have helped with their confidence if nothing else. Their strengths are in attacking and if they stick to their game then they should have just the edge, but it should be a fairly close game. Both teams get stretch their legs and get goals, and both can attack well if they fall behind.
Betting Tip: Argentina -0.25 Asian Handicap Evens at Paddy Power