Argentina goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman has revealed his side have been focusing on set pieces during training in order to contain Iceland in Group D’s opening game at this year’s FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
Icelandic footballers are the tallest at the World Cup in Russia, with an average height of 1.85 meters (over 6 feet) while Argentina are among the shortest teams at the tournament at 1.79 meters (just over 5-feet-10 inches).
According to foxsports.com, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has put special emphasis on height during tactical work at the team’s training center in the Moscow suburb of Bronnitsy.
It was reported that in training, Sampaoli tried out a zonal defensive system involving center backs Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo. Other taller players in the Argentina team including Maximiliano Meza, Lucas Biglia and Angel Di Maria will man-mark their towering rivals.
Guzman, 32, who was drafted into Argentina’s 23-man squad following injury to first choice Sergio Romero, expressed hope that all their effort in training will pay off come Saturday.
“Over the past week, we have been working on specific issues like set pieces,” he said.
”The team is convinced that the coach’s approach is key. Hopefully we’ll be able to demonstrate it in Saturday’s match.
“We must be patient, move the ball to create space and increase the speed of play with two or three touches. It will be a very laborious match. We’ll have to know how to deal with the anxiety.”