Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Five Aside: Gotze's historics secure glory

Five Aside Jul 13, 2014
Read
 Posted by Sam Kelly
Jun 18, 2014

Spotlight on Argentina's attack

Jose Basanta admits there's a lot of pressure on Argentina at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but says the whole team have to build on their first win of the tournament.

All of a sudden, the focus seems to have shifted in the Argentina camp. After so many worries and questions about the defence and the switch to their secondary formation of 3-5-2 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, all the questions are now suddenly being directed toward the team's attack.

Should Gonzalo Higuaín have started up front on Sunday? Do Argentina have the tools to keep the pressure on in attack if Alejandro Sabella decides he needs to play with three centre backs again? Are the tactics and training sessions now revolving around Lionel Messi's whims, following his outspoken news conference after the 2-1 win on Sunday?

Baier: Messi's preferred formation

Afshar: Resolute rearguard a positive for Iran

Although there were whispers pre-match that Messi had asked to play with only Sergio Agüero up front, that seems unlikely to me. Messi's own words after the game made clear that he realises Argentina are best in a 4-3-3, and I can't see why he'd have gone against that pregame. It's not as if he has a vendetta with Higuain; to all appearances, he has been actively trying to talk Higuain into joining him at Barcelona.

More likely, Higuain was left out of the starting lineup due to his lack of participation (thanks to fitness issues) in the pre-World Cup friendlies. His importance to the attack -- and Messi in particular -- has rarely been better illustrated than by his half time introduction against Bosnia-Herzegovina; opening up space for Messi to run into, his lay-off for Argentina's second goal was a classic demonstration.

In fact, if Argentina do at any point revert to two up front for some reason during the tournament, I think if everyone's fit and suspension free, we're most likely to see Higuain playing alongside Messi.

It might prove just as important to the attack that Rodrigo Palacio also returned to full training this week; Argentina finally have all 23 players fully fit this weekend. Palacio is important because of his willingness to play a tactical role in the side; he's not as big as Higuaín, but is perhaps the best substitute for him given Ezequiel Lavezzi's iffy form in the pre-tournament friendlies.

It's perhaps as much Palacio's injury as Higuain's which caused the decision to start with just two up front on Sunday.

Always the second option, Sergio Aguero's quite content to support and do whatever it takes to win.
Sergio Aguero and Leo Messi will have the chance to prove they can work together when Argentina face Iran on Saturday.

As for Messi's whims dictating things, I suspect talk is being overstated somewhat. We won't find out at least until Sabella gives his news conference on Friday (and probably not even then), but it's worth bearing in mind Messi was far from the only player to point out that the side's preferred system was the 4-3-3 used in the second half.

Sergio Aguero's muted display, of course, didn't help things on Sunday either. Much of the criticism was reserved for Messi (who, let's not forget, took the free kick that  led to the opening own goal, and scored the second himself), but Aguero's shooting was poor and on one or two occasions his runs took him down blind alleys (the one for the above mentioned free kick notwithstanding). Even off form, though, Agüero should probably start on the left of the front three.

That's partly because of Lavezzi's poor showings and the fact that Aguero could produce a flash of brilliance at any moment, but more than that it's because he already knows how the other members of the group the Argentine press dub the "Fantastic Four" (the front three plus Angel Di María) work.

Aguero below par, in Argentina's first choice system, still knows precisely the runs Higuaín and Messi will make, and knows when and from what angle Di María is likely to join the attack.

That's not to say Palacio and Lavezzi can't do the job in his role if needed, but even if his final ball isn't working I'd still stick with Agüero because the link play is that bit more instinctual for him -- and against a well-drilled side sitting deep as Iran are likely to on Saturday, that could prove vital.

If anything, the first half showing on Sunday has only reinforced the feeling that Argentina's best chance in this World Cup is to make use of their abundant attacking resources. It has been a tournament well-suited to attacking sides so far, and few would deny Argentina have what it takes to take advantage of that.