Trade of the day Sunday 27/6/10

Argentina v Mexico 7.30pm

TEAM NEWS

After naming a weakened side for the win against Greece, Argentina coach Diego Maradona will recall the likes of Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain.

Nicolas Burdisso could start at centre-back as Walter Samuel has not fully recovered from a thigh problem. Jonas Gutierrez will return at right-back after completing a one-game ban.

Maradona must decide whether to start with playmaker Juan Veron, who returned from injury against the Greeks, or Maxi Rodriguez. The Liverpool midfielder scored a spectacular goal in the win against Mexico at the 2006 World Cup.

Mexico defender Efrain Juarez has completed a one-game ban and may come into the starting XI, possibly at the expense of Hector Moreno. Striker Carlos Vela is back in training after a hamstring injury but is likely to begin on the bench.

One booking from suspension: Bolatti, Heinze, Mascherano (Argentina); Castro, Franco, Hernandez, Moreno, Rodriguez, Torrado (Mexico).

MATCH PREVIEW

The 2010 World Cup opened with a performance from Colombian singer Shakira, setting the tone for a tournament in which teams from Latin America have proved to be the star attractions. All five South American teams progressed to the last 16, with Argentina the most impressive.

Mexico, Concacaf’s sole representative, have not quite hit those heights but they did beat 2006 finalists France in the group stage, and have reached the knock-out stage for the fifth time in a row. However, their previous four campaigns all ended at the last 16. Four years ago Argentina eliminated them, meaning Mexico once again failed to reach the quarter-finals on foreign soil.

Diego Maradona has happy memories of Mexico, having lifted the World Cup as Argentina captain at the Estadio Azteca in 1986. Previous encounters with El Tri have also generally ended favourably for the Argentines – they have lost only four of 25 games against Mexico, and beat them at both the 1930 and 2006 World Cups.

Maradona’s men have been applauded for their free-flowing football, but four of their seven goals have actually come from set-pieces, something Mexico will have to watch out for. Mexico has the world’s smallest volcano (just over 40ft tall) and there can be few international keepers shorter than first-choice gloveman Oscar Perez – the 37-year-old is barely an inch taller than Lionel Messi.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

– Mexico have won only four of their previous 25 games against Argentina, losing 11. That excludes a friendly in 1984 which was abandoned with the scores level.

– Mexico’s last win against the Argentines was in a group game at the 2004 Copa America in Peru. Gabriel Heinze, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano all played in that match, as did Mexico’s Ricardo Osorio, Gerardo Torrado and Rafael Marquez.

– Argentina beat Mexico in the group stage at the 1930 World Cup (W6-3) and the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup (W2-1).

Argentina

– The Albiceleste have won their last eight matches, including friendlies and competitive games. It is their best run since 1998, when they drew their ninth match, a last 16 tie against England, but advanced to the World Cup quarter-finals on penalties.

– They have won 11 of 12 games, with the only slip-up a 2-1 defeat to Spain last November.

– The Argentines attempted exactly 800 passes against Greece, completing 662. Their opponents were successful with only 147 passes.

Mexico

Mexico have never gone beyond the last 16 of a World Cup on foreign soil. They reached the quarter-finals as hosts in 1970 and 1986.

– El Tri’s only previous World Cup win against South American opposition came against Ecuador in the group stage of the 2002 World Cup. They have lost seven of their previous 10 World Cup games against CONMEBOL opposition.

– Rafael Marquez and Cuauhetmoc Blanco will set a new Mexican record of 12 World Cup appearances if they play on Sunday.

STRAT

FIP

See you in chat later, come on England!!!!!

Post match round up

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~ by Juan on June 27, 2010.

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