How to beat Argentina...

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INVASION ALERT! Ahead of the crucial Clasico qualifier between Argentina and Brazil, Joel Richards – writer of blog Argie Bargy – gives his view from the other side. Including how Dunga's men can beat the Albiceleste...

When a journalist tried to draw comparisons between Dunga (World Cup winning captain) and Maradona (World Cup winning captain) the man in charge of the Seleção was having none of it.

“I am nothing like Maradona,” deadpanned Dunga, "not in anything."

He didn’t need to spell out what he was getting at.

We all know that there is no love lost between Argentina and Brazil, and we could have a whole new chapter of the footballing rivalry for the history books after this weekend - putting the sword to Argentina’s World Cup qualification hopes would spark of the second Carnaval of the year in Brazil.

Dunga already has a pretty decent formula to hand – FIFA ranked No.1, Confederations Cup champions, 17 games without a defeat… but just in case he feels the need to consult FourFourTwo for some last minute battle plans, here’s how to beat Argentina.

Cancel out Messi – It’s going to be something of a love-in with Leo Messi on Saturday – the game is in Rosario, the city where a young Messi took his first shorter-than-most-other-kids steps.

Messi almost drowned in a sea of cameras, microphones and over-excited reporters earlier in the week in Buenos Aires when he braved the Outside World.

Everybody knows that Argentina rely on their No.10. Dunga has already said his team won’t man-mark the Barcelona forward - they don’t need to.

Just don’t let him get the ball in the first place and Brazil will do just fine.

Wind up Carlos Tevez – There’s no doubt that the Manchester City forward is something of a legend. Growing up in one of the roughest slums in Buenos Aires, this is an Argentine who has won over fans both in Brazil and England.

He even won over both sides of Manchester.

Maradona loves the Apache’s character and will pick Tevez to partner Messi up front. One small problem. So far in the qualifiers, the stats don’t speak too kindly for Carlitos.

1 missed penalty, 1 goal, 2 red cards. 10 may be Diego’s favourite number, but its not the amount of players he wants on the pitch.

Play down the right – There’s a theme emerging in the two South American superpowers.

Like Brazil, Argentina may be found lacking down the left. At the back is Gabriel Heinze. The Gringo is one of Maradona’s favourite players for off-the-field character, but one of the Argentina fans’ least favourite players for his on-the-field performances.

Ahead of him is Jesús Dátolo of Napoli. He impressed at Boca Juniors, earning him a move to Italy over the summer, but the winger is a) making his debut and b) up against Maicon.

Because of injuries, it’s a gamble Maradona has to take, and it could backfire.

Kill off the game - Argentina have moved to Rosario because they need a win, and rather than putting the fans four miles away from the pitch like they do at River Plate, they want a pressure cooker atmosphere for the clash with Brazil.

If Dunga can cancel them out for the first 15 minutes, just watch the crowd turn on them.

If they reach half time without conceding, Maradona will be looking for kitchen sinks at the break, leaving space for Robinho, Kaká and the Fabulous Luis Fabiano to put Maraiano Andújar to work in the Argentina goal.

It’s written in the stars -  No black cats, avoid construction sites and ladders, don’t let anyone near the pitch with the No.13 shirt…

Argentina have lost just one home World Cup qualifying game ever. It was 1993, Colombia weren’t just good, they were brilliant.

Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla combined to destroy Argentina 5-0 in front of their own fans.

Dunga will have noticed the date. September 5 – the day of Argentina-Brazil.

---------------------------------------------- More to read...

Celso de Campos Jr: A Brazilian explains how Argentina can win

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