Argentina vs Bolivia Live Streeming Online Soccer with Commentary Video Feed: at Estadio El Monumental in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying on 11.11.11
Bolivia Vs. Argentina
Friday November 11, 2011 3:00PM ET Get Tickets
CONMEBOL - World Cup Qualifying
TV Lines: U.S: Dish Network, DirecTV Soccer
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Lionel Messi, Sergio "Kun" Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain upfront — what a deadly combination indeed.
These three in-form attackers, with lot of goals among them of late, are poised to start when Argentina entertain Bolivia at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires in a South American 2014 World Cup qualifier tomorrow (4am).
They are set to start as another in-form attacker, Angel di Maria of Real Madrid, has been ruled out because of an injury.
Argentina, under new coach Alejandro Sabella, have not been enjoying a good start to their campaign.
After beating Chile 4-1 in the opener at home, they surprisingly lost 1-0 to a fighting Venezuela in the second match.
The hosts surely can't afford to drop a single point against the Bolivians, especially as they will face a tough task next against formidable Colombia away on Tuesday.
Messi, Aguero and Higuain have to play a big role tomorrow for Argentina obviously.
And based on their current form in Europe, the three should be able to create problems and get the hosts a win to put them in the "right frame of mind" for the Colombian hurdle.
Messi may not have been scoring that often for his national team but he already has 14 goals to his credit this season for Barcelona from 11 matches to lead the top scorer's chart. Real's Higuain is also on song with 11 goals.
He has already netted nine goals for high-flying English Premier League leaders Manchester City despite the fact that this is only his debut season.
The interesting aspect about this Messi, Higuain and Aguero combination is that all of them can operate either in the centre or on the flanks effectively and this can confuse the Bolivian defence.
Guess how many goals will Argentina score? El Loco feels at least three... hopefully Argentina will not lose or the fans will be cursing.
Strikeforce aside, expect some changes in the Argentina midfield as Valencia star Ever Banega is out because of suspension.
This is where Fernando Gago, who is now on loan with Italian club Roma from Real, can take over.
The stylish Gago has featured regularly for Roma and should be ready to partner Barca star Javier Mascherano and Jose Sosa of Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv in midfield.
It is interesting to see how Gago will fare. This is the best chance for him to impress Sabella. Basically a defensive midfielder, Gago has the ability to start some decent attacking moves which is handy for the strikers.
Sabella, meanwhile, vowed to remedy his team's loss to Venezuela after admitting he will go down in history as the first coach to be beaten by the Vinotinto.
A Fernando Amorebieta goal led Cesar Farias' team to a 1-0 win last month, which marked the first time that Venezuela had defeated Argentina.
Sabella admitted losing the last game left scars on him and his charges.
"It will stay in history that I was the first coach to lose, that cannot be erased," he told Ole. Poor thing.
"Self-criticism is important, but we should not panic. We have to be intelligent in order to listen to the rest and analyse things so the same errors are not committed twice. Mao Tse-Tung said self-criticism is a symptom of weakness and there is some truth in that," said the 57-year-old.
Intelligent or not, Argentina have to beat Bolivia, or Sabella will be in deeper trouble and may have to panic.
Argentina comes in this match second in the World Cup Qualifying table, having opened with a strong 4-1 victory over Chile only to lose their second match 1-0 to Venezuela. This is a golden opportunity for Argentina to take charge over the rest of South America, as Brazil are not apart of 2014 World Cup Qualifying having automatically done so as hosts of the tournament. Under coach Alejandro Sabella this is a team that if it wasn’t before is definitely now centered around captain and forward Lionel Messi, and judging from the previous two matches the coach is trying to develop a partnership between him and Gonzolo Higuain. What this does is allows Messi to roam freely and pick up the ball from a variety of areas, this makes his harder to man mark and opens up space for the aforementioned Higuain as well as midfielder Javier Pastore and other forwards such as Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Lavezzi. In terms of newer call ups to the squad there are local players like midfielder Rodrigo Braña and defender Leandro Desábato of Estudiantes as well as defender Clemente Rodríguez from Boca Juniors but also sees Napoli defender Federico Fernández, Internacional midfielder Pablo Guiñazú and Nice defender Luciano Monzón amongst others get the call. Argentina qualifying for the 2014 World Cup is not really in any danger but with the events surrounding how their last campaign went combined with a disastrous Copa America they will want to make a statement and top the group.
As for Bolivia, they come into this match of the back of two defeats and not only bottom of the group but are the only team without a point. They lost heavily to Uruguay by a 4-2 score line and followed that up with a 2-1 home defeat to Colombia, it was always going to be difficult for Bolivia, as they just don’t have the quality that the other South American nations boast. All but five of the current squad plays their soccer in the domestic Bolivian league, the main star of the team being Shakhtar Donetsk forward Marcelo Moreno Martins who is also virtually their only goal threat. The only saving grace for Bolivia is when they play at home in La Paz, that is where they can play the spoiler role, as many teams hate to play in altitude. However this match is a tough prospect for coach Gustavo Quinteros, who will almost certainly make the game a physical one and play a defensive shell. They will follow the same game plan when the two meet in the opening match of Copa America, in that match Bolivia committed 24 fouls, just about double the amount of Argentina and were fortunate to grab the 1-0 lead just after half time due to failure to stay tight on the post by Ever Banega. The match ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw, subsequently giving Bolivia their only point of the tournament.
While I can see Bolivia using similar strong-arm tactics I think this Argentina team is just too strong, even without the likes of Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria in the squad. I wouldn’t run out a play this game by any means, however I’ll go with Argentina against the spread.