Lionel Messi Argentina
Lionel Messi is expected to set the World Cup alightReuters

Lionel Messi has not quite set the World Cup alight with his undeniably wonderful talents. Step one of taking himself into exalted company begins with a match against Bosnia-Herzegovina as Argentina attempt to set their tilt at the 2014 World Cup title in enemy territory Brazil on the right track with three points in the most iconic stadiums of them all – the Maracana.

Where to Watch Live:

Get the report HERE

The first match of Group F is scheduled for a 7 pm local time (3.30 am IST, 11pm BST, 6 pm ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six HD and and Sony Six in India. The match can also be watched online via live streaming in India HERE. Watch the match in the UK on ITV and BBC with the live streaming option HERE or HERE. US viewers can watch the game on ESPN while you can also live stream the action HERE. Viewers in Australia can watch HERE online, while South Africa viewers can catch the match HERE.

Argentina are seen as one of the favourites to lift the title, and with a relatively easy Group F, which also involves Nigeria and Iran apart from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the South Americans should be able to negotiate through to the last 16 comfortably enough.

However, there have been enough signs at this World Cup already which has thrown conventional wisdom out of the window; Argentina, who were knocked out of the quarterfinals in the 2010 World Cup by Germany, will do well not to become the latest casualty of the growing list of upsets.

"Since this tournament has started with a heap of upsets, I am hoping for another one tomorrow," Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic said on Saturday.

Alejandro Sabella has a ridiculous attacking lineup at his disposal, but the coach was tight-lipped about the formation or the team that would face Bosnia come Sunday.

"I will evaluate the players up until the last minute and decide who are in the best condition to face the 90 minutes," Sabella said. "We've got one more night to think about it. We've already practised one system (4-3-3) and then we did the other (5-3-2).

"But it has got nothing to do with whether you play with two or three forwards and just because you have more people in attack doesn't mean we are going to score more goals."

Argentina might have a mouth-watering array of attacking players at their disposal, but in Bosnia, they will be up against a team in tremendous attacking form as well. Bosnia-Herzegovina were the second top scorers in European qualifying, with Susic promising an attacking mind set.

"We are going to play with three attackers tomorrow and at least two attacking midfielders and two fullbacks who keep on attacking and going forward," Susic said. "This is how we play football. We can't play any other kind of football, nor do I want us to play any other kind of football."

Argentina have been a little too porous at the back of late, and the South Americans will need to be resilient at the back to stop Edin Dzeko and co. from banging a few in in Rio.

"We know that in midfield and up front we've got some great players who can change the course of games at any given time," Argentina central defender Ezequiel Garay told FIFA's official website. "That makes it a tremendous challenge for us defenders, but that's not because we're not good enough but because our teammates further forward are so good."

Team news: Argentina: Gonzalo Higuain has been struggling with an ankle problem but is expected to take the field in a three-prong attack with Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Sejad Salihovic is an injury concern for the Europeans, but Susic does not have too many other problems.

Expected lineups: Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Fernandez, Garay, Rojo; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Aguero.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Begovic; Mujdza, Spahic, Kolasinac, Salihovic; Hajrovic, Besic, Pjanic, Misimovic; Lulic, Dzeko.

Prediction: 3-2 to Argentina

Quick Links