Argentina would have watched the first six round of 16 matches at this enthralling 2014 FIFA World Cup and realised there are no easy games -- not even close. Every single team in this knockout round are a tough nut to crack, and the South American giants will know the threat that Switzerland, No.6 ranked team in the world and everything, pose. So, there will be no room for mistakes or complacency when Lionel Messi and co. take the field against "Alpine Messi" and co in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
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The last 16 clash is set for live telecast on Sony Six in India with the match starting at 1 pm local time (9.30 pm IST, 5 pm BST, 12 pm ET). The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Viewers in the US can catch the action on ESPN and ABC, with the option to live stream the game HERE or HERE. UK viewers can catch the action in BBC and ITV while the matches can also be live streamed HERE or HERE. Viewers in Argentina can live stream the match HERE, while audience in North Africa and the Middle east can catch the action live online HERE. Catch the game in Australia HERE, while South Africa viewers can do so HERE. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can live stream the match HERE.
Argentina have not been the most impressive side at this World Cup in Brazil, like the hosts, struggling a little to live up to the massive expectations. One player has certainly lived up to his nation's hopes, though, and that little magician will again be the most important player on the pitch for Argentina.
Messi, who came to this World Cup with pressure heaped on him to prove himself at the biggest stage, has been Argentina's saviour in all three matches so far. The left-footed wonder scored a brilliant winner against Bosnia-Herzegovina to ensure Argentina started their World Cup campaign on a winning note, before a stunning strike right at the death gave his team a narrow 1-0 win over Iran.
If those two goals were right out of the top drawer, Messi went one better, grabbing a wonderful brace to guide Argentina towards a 3-2 win over Nigeria and with it top place in Group F. The captain's armband has worked perfectly for Messi, and if the forward continues this rich vein of form, then Argentina will be a difficult team to stop.
"Messi is having an amazing World Cup at the moment and that's what everybody expected," said Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, who must ne thanking his lucky starts to have the superstar in his side.
"I expected it, so did his teammates and so did all Argentinians in general. So of course we're happy, we're happy for the team and for him as well. He's an important player for us. [Diego] Maradona was a very important player in that time and Messi is important as well."
Messi has certainly gone about in a similar manner that Maradona did, single-handedly taking his side to a position of strength; but as important as individual brilliance is in the modern game, it does not trump teamwork and that is the aspect that Argentina need to improve on.
There were signs of it in the final group game, with Angel Di Maria, so in the periphery in the first two matches, getting more involved, but Messi will need help from Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and more if Argentina are to go far in this tournament and reach that huge final at the Maracana.
"We should be happy with our results so far. It's not easy to take nine points from three games at the World Cup," full-back Pablo Zabaleta told FIFA's official website. "What's most important, though, is that we're improving as the tournament progresses.
"Against Nigeria we played better than we had in the previous two games, which was our objective. From now on the slightest mistake can send you home."
Switzerland overcame their 5-2 thumping at the hands of France, with an authoritative 3-0 victory against Honduras, a victory which ensured them second place in Group E, and this clash with Argentina. Xherdan Shaqiri, labelled as "Alpine Messi" in his homeland, came to the fore in some style with a hat-trick in that win, and the 22-year-old will be key to Switzerland's fortunes again.
"We are the clear outsiders but we have nothing to lose and much to gain," Switzerland coach Otmar Hitzfeld told the Swiss FA's website. "We can make history on Tuesday. In one game, anything is possible."
Switzerland are built on solid players who know their roles quite well, with their defence being their strongpoint – against Argentina, and with Messi in the form that he is in, that defence will certainly have to be at their absolute best to stop the goals from raining in.
Team news: Argentina: Sergio Aguero is ruled out of the game with a thigh injury, with Ezequiel Lavezzi expected to replace him. Sabella would not confirm the change, with the manager also having the option of adding an extra midfielder and going for a 4-4-2 formation, but he did talk Lavezzi up.
"In case Lavezzi plays he can play in two different positions," Sabella said. "He can play as a striker or on the right or left wing so we can use two systems with one player. But I am telling you the lineup is not decided yet.
"Players like Lavezzi are always very positive, because they keep players happy. They keep a nice atmosphere in the group. And Lavezzi is a great player."
Switzerland: Mario Gavranovic is out after tearing his anterior crucial ligament during a training session.
Key men: Argentina: Apart from the obvious Messi, Di Maria will also need to lace his scoring boots on, while Higuain could do with a goal or two.
Switzerland: Shaqiri will want to carry his goalscoring form into this game, while Josep Drmic impressed against Honduras and will be keen on finding the back of the net.
Expected lineups: Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Fernandez, Garay, Rojo; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi.
Switzerland: Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Schaer, Rodriguez; Behrami, Inler; Xhaka, Shaqiri, Mehmedi; Drmic.
Prediction: 2-1 to Argentina