Argentina have waited patiently to begin their World Cup campaign while watching Brazil, Holland and Colombia all take all early chances to shine, but tonight its their turn as Lionel Messi gets ready to grace the Maracana Stadium.

Messi is under pressure to finally deliver in a major international tournament and has the complete trust of Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella to do just that, made captain and linchpin by the boss and repaying him with a series of scintillating performances over the last two years.

The diminutive genius is partnered by Sergio Aguero in attack, supported by a playmaker in Angel di Maria who has been nothing short of sensational at club level with Real Madrid in recent months.

Bosnia and Herzegovina promise to be stiff opposition and have their own huge motivation to succeed in their first ever World Cup match, a landmark moment for a young nation relishing their first invitation to football's biggest party.

Don't that lack of international experience lead you to write off Bosnia though, they have star players playing for some of Europe's best clubs and making serious impression at the top level.

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko is the man charged with firing Bosnia to glory and their primary target of reaching the last 16, one that looks eminently achievable in a Group F also containing Iran and Nigeria.

Dzeko will be flanked by Roma maestro Miralem Pjanic, an attacking midfield of immense technical quality with an eye for precision passing in congested central areas.

The teams are:

Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Campagnaro, Fernández, Rojo; Maxi, Mascherano, Di María; Messi & Agüero

Bosnia: Begovic, Bicakcic, Spahic, Kolasinac, Basic, Pjanic, Misimovic, Dzeko, Mujdza, Lulic, Hajrovic.

Both teams have made some very surprising selection decisions, with Argentina opting not to take a gamble on Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain as he continues to nurse an ankle problem.

Midfield linchpin Fernando Gagao is also far from 100% fit and is not risked, while Bosnia slightly oddly choose to leave Vedad Ibisevic out.

Bosnia will almost definitely miss the Bundesliga's free-kick king Sejad Salihovic, who failed a last-minute fitness test and will now be forced to make do with a watching brief at the iconic, newly-renovated Maracana.

Topics:
World Cup
Football
Argentina Football