Argentina must prove mettle
ARGENTINA start as hot favourites to beat Iceland in their opening World Cup Group D match tomorrow but the toughest opponent for the runners-up four years ago may be themselves, rather than the tiny tournament debutants.
Champions in 1978 and 1986, Argentina are part of football’s elite and have in their ranks Lionel Messi, the fivetimes world player of the year.
But they only qualified for Russia thanks to a win against Ecuador and only scored 19 goals in 18 games, the least by any South American qualifier since the mid-1990s.
Since then, their on the field woes have worsened – a slim win over Italy in March was followed four days later by a 6-1 hammering by Spain.