Stay up late to catch Argentina backlash against Bosnia
Argentina’s 2014 World Cup odds drifted from 5/1 out to 11/2 after a lacklustre 0-0 draw against Ecuador at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
The Albiceleste face another stern test in their match at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is live on BT Sport at 1.30am, but coach Alejandro Sabella can guide his side to a face-saving win in the US.
Argentina to win and both teams to score @ 11/5
Germany currently stand alone as 5/1 second-favourites for the 2014 World Cup behind hosts Brazil at 10/3.
Argentina’s performance against Ecuador without talismanic winger Lionel Messi has put off potential backers for next summer’s tournament, but the country FIFA rank as third best on the planet have enough stars in their ranks to atone for that dour stalemate.
Sabella has Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Manchester City hotshot Sergio Aguero to choose from in his striking ranks and Barcelona’s former Liverpool bruiser Javier Mascherano is expected to captain the side again in Messi’s absence.
They can take their frustrations out on a Bosnian team that forfeited an unbeaten 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign by losing 1-0 at home to Slovakia in Group G and went down to a 4-3 defeat against USA over the summer.
However, the loss against Slovakia was the only time in ten games this year that the Balkan side drew a blank and with Aguero’s Man City clubmate Edin Dzeko and Stuttgart hitman Vedad Ibisevic both available for this clash, the Dragons can grab a consolation in the States.
Angel di Maria to score the first goal @ 7/1
The Real Madrid winger was Argentina’s brightest spark in an improved second-half showing against Ecuador and tested opposition goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez three times in the first ten minutes after the break.
Di Maria has been marginalised at the Bernabeu since Gareth Bale arrived in the Spanish capital over the summer, but the 25-year-old has scored three goals in his last five starts for Los Blancos.
Sabella will look to the winger to provide the spark Argentina lacked in the first half against La Tri and he can add to his nine international goals with the opener in Missouri.
Miralem Pjanic to score at any time @ 7/1
Pjanic is fast becoming one of the hottest properties in European football, with rumours of £25m bids being prepared by the continents’ elite clubs after the 23-year-old’s fine start to the season with Serie A-leaders Roma.
The attacking-midfielder has acted as a provider more than a scorer of goals for the Giallorossi this term, but has managed three of his own in 12 Serie A appearances in 2013/14.
Pjanic struck four times for his country in 12 internationals last season and is wildly overpriced at 7/1 to find the net at some point in the 90 minutes.