The 2014 FIFA World Cup will begin its 10th day of action with Argentina looking to make a better impression than they did in struggling to a 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
With Lionel Messi experiencing renewed confidence following only his second goal at a World Cup, Argentina should be more dynamic going forward against Iran. The other game in Group F features Bosnia battling Nigeria.
The Bosnians were unfortunate not to earn at least a draw against Argentina, thanks to some quality possession football. By contrast, Nigeria were downright abysmal in their opening match.
The Africans played without verve or imagination, failing to capitalise on their strength and speed in attack. The squad needs a complete reversal of fortunes to avoid the ignominy of an early exit.
Sandwiched between these two fixtures is Germany's Group G clash with Ghana. The Germans are still basking in the way they outclassed Portugal 4-0.
Meanwhile, Ghana are likely still smarting after their 11th-hour defeat against U.S.A. But the Black Stars still possess enough talent in the squad to cause an upset.
Here's the full TV information for Day 10, including streaming details and start times:
|TV Information for Day 10|
|Argentina vs. Iran||5 p.m. (BST) / 12 p.m. (ET)||ITV / ESPN||ITV Player / ESPN Player|
|Germany vs. Ghana||8 p.m. (BST) / 3 p.m. (ET)||BBC One / ESPN||BBC iPlayer / ESPN Player|
|Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina||11 p.m. (BST) / 6 p.m. (ET)||BBC One / ESPN||BBC iPlayer / ESPN Player|
|FIFA.com and FanSided.com|
Germany's match with Ghana should prove to be a fascinating watch. The Germans play a brand of intelligent and open attacking football that is very pleasing on the eye.
The squad is brimming with superior technicians such as Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and the Bayern Munich duo of Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze. But despite an early defeat, Ghana will not make it easy for the Germans to execute their intricate combinations.
The Ghana midfield is heavy on energy and athleticism, with the likes of Afriyie Acquah and Kwadwo Asamoah. How their power combats Germany's flair will determine this game.
There's a similar clash of styles present between Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The former has plenty of muscle and pace, particularly along the forward line.
Nigeria can unleash attackers such as Victor Moses, Peter Odemwingie and Emmanuel Emenike. Bosnia, meanwhile, rely on the mercurial scheming of shrewd playmaker Miralem Pjanic.
For Argentina, all the attention will be on Messi and his forward-thinking cohorts Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria. If coach Alejandro Sabella ever works out how to make this quartet click consistently, his squad will be unstoppable.
Here's a look at three key players to watch on Day 10:
Thomas Muller, Germany
Thomas Muller may be the most important player in German ranks. He is essential to this squad's ability to thrive without a natural centre-forward.
Muller is perfectly suited to such a demanding role, as he proved by bagging a hat-trick against Portugal. The pacey Bayern Munich man was a nightmare for defenders to track, as BBC Sport writer David Ornstein noted:
He was a handful from the first minute with his constant harrying, non-stop running, intelligent movement and knack of being in the right place at the right time.
Self-christened as 'The Raumdeuter' - the 'interpreter of space' - because of his intelligent play and ability to pick up pockets of space among opposition defences, Muller was unstoppable.
Muller's clever movement dovetails superbly with the vision of the likes of Kroos, Gotze and Ozil. He is also able to match the pace of wide forward Andre Schurrle, making Germany lethal on the counter.
Muller will once again be the player Germany depends on to finish off flowing and stylish moves.
Muhamed Besic, Bosnia-Herzegovina
If Pjanic is the player Bosnia relies on to provide a flourish to patient and thoughtful possession, Muhamed Besic gives him the room to do it.
The youthful, deep-lying midfield playmaker has an important dual role. He is at once responsible for protecting the defence, as well as building attacks from the back.
It's a task Besic performed superbly against Argentina, according to Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian:
It would be wrong to say he was peripheral in the first half, for Messi is never peripheral, his every touch shimmering with menace, but he certainly was not as dominant as he can be at his best, the attentions of Muhamed Besic forcing him to drop deep, which left Sergio Agüero at times rather isolated.
The 21-year-old Besic, who in 2010 replaced Pjanic as the youngest player to represent Bosnia, had a fine game, both screening his defence and distributing sensibly. He often played the short pass to Pjanic, but occasionally looking long to Senad Lulic on the left flank.
Without a Messi-like talent to shadow against Nigeria, Besic will have even more freedom to combine with Pjanic. Their work will be vital to setting towering striker Edin Dzeko free and boosting Bosnia's qualification hopes.
Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina
It's not embellishment to say that Gonzalo Higuain's introduction against Bosnia turned the game in Argentina's favour. The Napoli striker draws attention away from Messi and Aguero, as BBC Sport writer Tim Vickery has highlighted:
In qualification he at last found a way to get the best out of Messi. Argentina played a 4-3-3 system, with Messi operating behind Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.
Some talked of the 'magic quartet,' because the midfield trio included Angel Di Maria. The four of them together, breaking at exhilarating pace, played some fine stuff in the qualifying campaign, and the system seemed to suit Messi.
The presence of two top strikers in front of him stretched the opposing defence and opened up space for Messi to work his magic.
The quick and powerful 26-year-old can show interested parties why they should open the chequebook for him this summer. Higuain leads the line with deceptive strength and is decisive and deadly whenever a chance comes his way.
With Iran likely to focus most of their efforts on corralling Messi, Higuain will find enough space to make his mark.
Expect wins for Argentina, Germany and Bosnia on Day 10. Of the three, Argentina should look the most impressive. If Sabella trusts the 4-3-3 formula, his talented attackers will wow the crowds at this World Cup.
Germany will have a tougher time of things against a Ghana squad that won't be dispatched from Brazil without a struggle. But with Muller around, expect the European heavyweight to triumph.
Finally, Bosnia should be able to play their way through Nigeria often enough to score at least once.
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