Argentina to face stubborn Iran in Group F

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 19, 2014 at 8:33 am •  Published: June 19, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — After stuttering in the early stages of in its opening match, Argentina's attack will need to use all its talent to find a way to break through Iran's stubborn defense in its second Group F game.

Lionel Messi's remarks earlier this week about the team's tactics in the first match sparked speculation that Argentina's captain wasn't seeing eye-to-eye with coach Alejandro Sabella.

Whatever formation Argentina uses against Iran on Saturday, the South Americans will need to be patient against a lineup that held Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in its first match.

"All of the matches have their difficulties and it's our job to overcome them," backup goalkeeper Agustin Orion said.

Messi said Argentina made too many mistakes against Bosnia-Herzegovina despite winning 2-1, starting the match with two attackers instead of three and playing a 5-3-2 formation in the first half. Messi prefers a 4-3-3 and Argentine media reports said he and other players insisted at halftime that Sabella needed to change tactics. The coach made the change and speculation emerged there was a growing rift between Messi and Sabella.

But other players sought to downplay any serious disagreement between the pair.

"Messi gave his opinion, which he is entitled to, and you shouldn't go looking for things that aren't there," said Mariano Andujar, another backup 'keeper.

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