Argentina begin World Cup campaign against Bosnia

Argentina would love nothing more than to win the World Cup at the home of South American arch-rivals Brazil and their campaign begins Sunday with a Group F clash against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Coach Alejandro Sabella has watched a number of stars recover from minor injuries and seems to have everyone other than forward Rodrigo Palacio fully fit.

But even if the Inter Milan striker is not available, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi are challenging to join star Lionel Messi in a high-quality front line.

The 26-year-old Messi has not yet truly delivered at a World Cup and with only one goal at a finals to his name so far, will hope for a change of fortune as he enters the prime of his career.

“I dream of winning the title with the team,” Messi said. “The thing which I want most is to win with Argentina.” But Bosnia, who are sweating on the fitness midfielder Sejad Salihovic following a training injury Thursday, are unlikely to roll over for Argentina having scored a sensational 30 goals in qualifying for their first World Cup.

In Group E Switzerland take on Ecuador and hope to prove once and for all they are deserving of top seed status. Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team, ranked sixth in the world, have lost just once in their last 18 matches but have not been tipped for as much success as some sides below them, such as England, Italy and Belgium.

Another country below Switzerland looking to upset the rankings is France, who begin their World Cup against Honduras. Oliver Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mamadou Sakho have all overcome injuries to be available.

Honduras are looking for their first win at a World Cup finals, having drawn three and lost three matches in the 1982 and 2010 editions.

(THEHINDU)

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