Argentina vs Mexico – Maradona hoping history repeats itself
Going into their last 16 match, Argentina are unbeaten, having played some of the best football in the tournament, while Mexico have won one, drawn one and lost one, also sparking acclaim for their stylish displays.
That this introduction could have been written four years ago exemplifies how similar the situation from Germany 2006 is to South Africa 2010.
When these nations met at the same stage last time out a Maxi Rodriguez volley in extra time ended the Mexicans’ run. That match finished 2-1 and it’s 7/1 for the same score here, while Argentina winning after extra-time is 7/1.
Mexico holds fond memories for Argentina boss Diego Maradona too, having won the competition in the country in 1986.
That year he dragged an average Argentine side all the way and will want his heir apparent Lionel Messi to do a similar job here.
The Barcelona maestro has been desperately unlucky not to score yet, but the bigger the stage the more he thrives and backing him to score first here wouldn’t be a bad idea. He’s 7/2 favourite to score first here.
Unlike Maradona in 86, this vintage of little genius has an able frontline support. Current joint-top scorer Gonzalo Higuain (4/1 to score first), Carlos Tevez (5/1) and Angel Di Maria (12/1), are all expected to return after being rested against Greece.
Mexico manager Javier Aguirre has admitted revenge is in the air for his side and captain Rafael Marquez – who played four years ago – will be charged with marshalling Messi. Whether that’s in defence or midfield is yet to be decided but it’s 7/2 for a Mexican clean sheet.
Up front it’s a straight choice between Javier Hernandez or Guillermo Franco, with the pacey Manchester United man looking the likelier trouble-maker for the Argentine defence. He’s 9/1 to open the scoring.
It’s a backline that has only conceded one goal so far but, with Walter Samuel ruled out with injury, is one that is susceptible to balls over the top. A 5/6 bet on Mexico to score seems wise.
The glut of attacking options open to Maradona, with Diego Milito and Martin Palermo also available, should see Argentina triumph once again, with a 3-1 score seeming probable – that’s 11/1.
How do you see this Latin exchange going? It’s 11/1 for Mexico to avenge defeat in Germany with a 1-0 win, while it’s 25/1 for Aguirre’s side to win in extra-time. See the full Argentina v Mexico match betting market.