Argentina will play Switzerland on Tuesday in the first of two big World Cup 2014 Last 16 games taking place today. Argentina will be favorites to win this game, but it would be unwise to write off a strong Switzerland team, who if at the top of their game could cause an upset. The game is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network or online through free live stream (details below).
In team news, Argentina striker Sergio Aguero will miss today's game with a thigh injury. That means Ezequiel Lavezzi could be drafted in as his replacement. He replaced Aguero for the final 52 minutes against Nigeria and seemed to play a much more active part in the game than Aguero. According to the BBC, he had 43 touches and attempted 31 passes compared to Aguero's tally of 11 touches and six passes.
Meanwhile, Switzerland will be missing striker Mario Gavranovic, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in training. That could leave them short of options up front.
In the past six face-offs between these two teams Argentina have won four, with there being two draws. Switzerland have never defeated Argentina.
The sides have only ever met once before in a World Cup, but that was way back in 1966, when Argentina emerged as 2-0 winners.
If Switzerland are going to pull off a shock today they will have to stop Lionel Messi. He has scored 24 times in his past 23 games for Argentina, and so far in this World Cup he has allowed Argentina to pull off wins when games seemed to be heading for almost-certain draws.
In the past 24 games that Messi has featured for Argentina, the team has won 17 and drawn 7, losing none of those 24 matches.
Meanwhile, for Switzerland they also will have to make history to defeat Argentina today. So far they have won 11 games in World Cups, but all have come in the group stages, and they have never won in the knock out stages of the competition. They must change that today to make the quarter-finals.
Argentina against Switzerland will kick off at 12 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network, or online through free live stream by clicking here.