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Match Previews

World Cup 2014 Group F Preview

9 June 2014

By Rhys Griffiths

The World Cup gets started in Brazil on Thursday and in the lead-up to the tournament we have been taking a daily look at each of the each groups. Today we look at Group F, which contains one of the tournament favourites Argentina.

Argentina

Years of incredible success at the Camp Nou have guaranteed Lionel Messi a place among the immortals - but the diminutive Argentine knows that leading his nation to World Cup glory would further enhance his claim to being considered the greatest of all time. La Albiceleste go into the World Cup armed with the attacking talents of Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain supplementing the outrageous gifts of Messi, but there remain concerns that coach Alejandro Sabella's defence could struggle to answer the questions posed by some of the very best teams in Brazil this summer.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Despite 2014 marking their World Cup debut, Bosnia and Herzegovina will harbour hopes of making the last 16 thanks to a squad which contains a number of players plying their trade in some of the top leagues in Europe. Key men in coach Safet Susic's squad include Miralem Pjanic and Emir Spahic, who play for Roma and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, and Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. English fans will also be familiar with the attacking threat posed by Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, whose goals could be vital if the team are to progress.

Iran

Iran have appeared at the World Cup three times previously - in 1978, 1998 and 2006 - but have failed to make it past the groups on each occasion, with just a solitary win from nine matches played. The squad is led by former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz and in Europe he is probably the best-known member of the Iranian set-up. But looking to make a name for himself will be Charlton Athletic's Reza Ghoochannejhad, whose goals helped fire Team Melli to a place in Brazil this summer.

Nigeria

Failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations represented a real low for the Nigerians, but they bounced back a year later to be crowned African champions. Now the Super Eagles - under the leadership of coach Stephen Keshi - will hope to emulate the feats of their 1990s predecessors, who reached the last 16 in both 1994 and 1998. Chelsea pair Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel will be both be central figures in the Nigerian campaign, while the likes of Shola Ameobi and Peter Odemwingie will also be familiar to English fans.

Group F Fixtures (all times UK)

June 15th, 23:00: Argentina v Bosnia and Herzegovina - Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
June 16th, 20:00: Iran v Nigeria - Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
June 21st, 17:00: Argentina v Iran - Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
June 21st, 23:00: Nigeria v Bosnia and Herzegovina - Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
June 25th, 17:00: Nigeria v Argentina - Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
June 25th, 17:00: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Iran - Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador


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