Alejandro Sabella
Alejandro Sabella

Belo Horizonte (Brazil): Argentina’s national team Friday prepared to hand Iran a decisive blow in their match Saturday and qualify for the knockout phase of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Coach Alejandro Sabella modified his tactics, after Argentina’s win over Bosnia in their first game that sparked criticism back home, reports Xinhua.

His initial 5-3-2 line-up on the field changed to 4-3-3, as the players requested in the second half of the Bosnia match.

“It’s going to be a difficult game and I believe that if you give any rival room to play, it can complicate the match, that’s why we have to dominate from the start against Iran,” star footballer Lionel Messi said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s national team, coached by Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, will try to do their best to stay alive, aware of the traditional superiority of the South American team.

Iran, who played Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in their debut match, will play Bosnia in their third and final game of the initial group phase.

“We have to enjoy and follow the instructions of our trainer to the letter,” Iran forward Reza Ghoochannejhad said.

“We have absolutely nothing to lose in this game. Argentina is one of the favourites to win the title, and that’s something that you can’t say about us. All the pressure is on them and we have to show all our capability, as we did against Nigeria.”

Argentina and Iran have only played each other once before — March 22, 1977, as part of the 75th Anniversary Cup of Real Madrid, in Spain’s capital.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but Argentina went on to win in a post-game tie-breaker.

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