Born Offside takes a look at the players that could star in Argentina…

Ever Banega (Argentina)

The 22-year-old midfielder has broken into the Argentina team since Sergio Batista took charge. He was key to Batista’s team in 2007 when Argentina won the Under-20 World Cup. Banega has won seven of his eight caps under the new coach having been ignored by Diego Maradona and his regime. Shining for Spain’s third best team Valencia, Banega is an all action creative midfielder with a low centre of gravity. He should prove the creative force alongside Esteban Cambiasso and captain Javier Mascherano in the host’s midfield.

Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina)

The stocky forward was key as Napoli stormed to a 4th place finish in Serie A last season. His performances have earned interest from some of Europe’s top clubs including Manchester City and Liverpool this summer. He is very Tevez-esque in his style but is looked on more favorably by coach Sergio Batista. He is often used on the flank to allow Lionel Messi the room to blossom but is still a goal threat. He could be a revelation given the opportunity ahead of the likes of Tevez, Aguero and Higuian.

Lucas Moura (Brazil)

The rapid winger will be used from the bench and could prove the difference for Brazil in this tournament. His dribbling skills and flair make him the most direct winger in the tournament (barring Messi.) Still only 18, Lucas has an eye for goal and is already a hero for his club Sao Paulo. He made his debut for Brazil against Scotland and will be a key figure in 2014.

Arturo Vidal (Chile)

The tough tackling midfielder was a revelation for Bayer Leverkusen last season and along with Gary Medel will add bite to Chile’s side. Vidal is like a terrier but has quality on the ball too. He is strong, quick and has a mean strike. The versatile performer can play anywhere in defence or midfield but a central role is his preference.

Abel Hernandez (Uruguay)

The tall pacey forward will have to play second fiddle to the strike partnership of Suarez and Cavani but he is very capable of making an impact from the bench as Republic of Ireland discovered. With two goals in three games for his country and a fine reputation in Italy, Hernandez has constantly been linked with a move to either Arsenal or Tottenham. A big tournament might pursuade either to take a chance.

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