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World Cup

  • 1 July 2014
  • • 17:00
  • • Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, São Paulo
  • Referee: J. Eriksson
  • • Attendance: 63255
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Argentina - Switzerland Preview: Hitzfeld's men looking to halt in-form Messi

Argentina - Switzerland Preview: Hitzfeld's men looking to halt in-form Messi

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The European side scraped through to the second round but come up against a strong Albiceleste team on Tuesday

By Kris Voakes in Sao Paulo

Having bounced back from a thumping 5-2 defeat by France to convincingly beat Honduras, Switzerland will have raise their level still further on Tuesday when they face Argentina in the round of 16 in Sao Paulo.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side have proven to be something of a mixed bag thus far, scraping a late victory against Ecuador before their heavy loss to Les Bleus and responding with a Xherdan Shaqiri-inspired 3-0 win over Luis Suarez’s Central Americans.

Shaqiri will again be the man of whom much will be expected across Switzerland, with his hat-trick in Manaus having raised the bar following the less than convincing performances which had preceded their final Group E fixture.

Next though, they face an Albiceleste side benefiting from Lionel Messi’s first truly outstanding World Cup run. His four goals in their faultless Group F campaign have helped the Barcelona man to be picked out as the star of the tournament so far.

Like the Swiss, Alejandro Sabella’s men have no suspension worries, having been brandished only a single yellow card in three games, but they are without Sergio Aguero thanks to a leg muscle injury. Ezequiel Lavezzi is likely to step into his place, with Rodrigo Palacio also in consideration.

Hitzfeld, meanwhile, has been hit by the loss of reserve striker Mario Gavranovic, who flew home on Sunday after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in training.

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