The Gauchos don’t have the most difficult group with Bosnia, Nigeria and Iran as opponents and will should be considered as one of the main favourites, with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Barcelona's Lionel Messi in attack.
Robert Schuller breaks down their prospects:
Four years ago the national hero Maradona attempted and failed to lead the Argentinian national team to glory in South Africa. This time they send an experienced and internationally recognised coach to the tournament. 59-year old Alejandro Sabella was also a professional football player and won with his former team Estudiantes de la Plata the National championship as well as the continental Copa Libertadores. In Argentina they call him “El Mago” because of his success and now his mission is to lead the Albiceleste to something magical in Brazil.
Argentina has probably the best strikers at the tournament. Players like Aguero from Manchester City, Lavezzi from Paris St. Germain, Higuain from Naples, Palacio from Inter and of course Messi from Barcelona would probably play for any national team in the world - so strong even Carlos Tevez has been left behind. Messi still needs the World Cup title to complete his impressive career, and you can be sure that he and his team mates will be especially motivated at the World Cup in their neighbouring country.
The team doesn’t have a high quality creative midfielder like a Riquelme or Veron, who could feed the excellent strikers. So this will then probably be a job for di Maria from Real and Alvarez from Inter, even though they play at different positions at their clubs. It can’t be overlooked that the rest of the team can’t quite keep up with the quality of the strikers.
In contrary to former World Cups we will probably see a better rested Messi this time. He didn’t have about 50 season matches before the World Cup and also during the season you could get the impression that he was saving some energy for this moment, and that he tried to avoid getting injured before the World Cup. So probably he will show that extra bit of dedication that he might have saved up during the season.
If Argentina manages to show their real potential and also have some luck at the decisive moments then they have a good chance to become the next World Cup champion.