Factbox on Argentina
Colours: Light blue and white striped shirt, black shorts, white or black socks.
Nickname: La albiceleste (the white and light blue)
Previous World Cup appearances - 14: 1930, 1934, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Best World Cup performance: Winners 1978, 1986
Coach: Diego Maradona
Most capped player: Javier Zanetti 136
Top goalscorer: Gabriel Batistuta 56
Maradona's lack of coaching experience and Lionel Messi's failure to reproduce his Barcelona form for his country were major topics of discussion throughout last year's qualifiers. Argentina have a major share of the European game's leading scorers but there are questions marks about the midfield and, in particular, what happens if the 35-year-old Juan Sebastian Veron is injured. Maradona seems set on playing four central defenders across the back, begging the question whether they are vulnerable to attacks from wide out.
Players to watch:
Those capable of a match-winning performance -- Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Juan Sebastian Veron, Angel Di Maria, all in brilliant form for their clubs. The leading players could carry them through but it will be a rollercoaster ride and their prospects are as unpredictable as their temperamental coach. (Compiled by Rex Gowar; Editing by Robert Woodward; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)