Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected to return to Sabella's starting line-up as the two-time winners look to seal their place in the second round of the World Cup with a victory over Iran. 'Argentines made too many mistakes against Bosnia' (JPN/Agencies)
Higuain came on as a substitute to set up Messi to score just his second ever World Cup goal as Argentina got their campaign off to a winning start against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Rio on Sunday.
And Messi said he feels more comfortable playing with both Higuain and Sergio Aguero in attack.
"We are Argentina and I think we need to concentrate on ourselves without fixating on who we are playing," said the four-time World Player of the Year.
"We feel more comfortable with two up front and me behind because it makes it easier to counter-attack and, because we have more people in attack, we have more possibilities," he said.
Messi eased some of the pressure on his shoulders to finally deliver his best form at a major tournament for his country with his stunning effort in the 2-1 win over Bosnia.
However, his underwhelming first-half performance was still criticised by some and he admitted he needs to play closer to the opposition's goal.
"In the first-half I found it difficult to get a hold of the ball and when I did I was very far from goal,” Messi said.
"The truth is when I did have the ball I lost it a number of times and at other times I was playing it backwards. I was annoyed at not being able to play the game I had planned," he said.
Along with Higuain, Fernando Gago could return in midfield at the expense of Maxi Rodriguez as he too made a positive impression as a second-half substitute against Bosnia.
Javier Mascherano is also expected to win his 100th cap in midfield and insisted he is as hungry for success as he was on his international debut.
"I am not one of those players that makes the difference on the pitch, but more a player that sacrifices myself for the team. What is my secret? I live for this," he said.
Iran made an encouraging start to their campaign too as they held African champions Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in Curitiba on Monday.
Coach Carlos Queiroz fiercely defended his side's tactics in that match given their lack of facilities and poor preparation in comparison to their more illustrious opponents in Group F.
And striker Reza Ghoochannejhad believes his side can enjoy the experience of taking on one of the best side's in the world with nothing expected of them.
"We have to enjoy it and follow the coach's instructions to the letter. We've got absolutely nothing to lose in this match," said the Carlton Athletic striker.
"Argentina are among the favourites this year, while the same can't be said for us. All the pressure will be on their shoulders and we will have to show our resilience, like against Nigeria," he said.
Messi doesn't count Argentina among the best teams in the World Cup so far. The Argentina captain said his team committed too many mistakes in its 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, including starting the game with two attackers instead of three.
"I think the best teams in the in first games were the Netherlands and Germany," Messi.
"But I think there are still teams that haven't shown what they can do and it's difficult to draw conclusions from a single match. I think as the tournament goes on they will improve," he said.
Messi stopped short of criticizing coach Alejandro Sabella but said he hopes Argentina will stick with the three-man attack it used in the second half against Bosnia â€” even against stronger opponents.
"We are Argentina and I think we have to focus on ourselves and not on who we're facing," Messi said.
"Of course depending on the result of a game we can change to another system. But personally I think we need to look at ourselves first and not focus on the rival," the captain said.
Sabella started the match with Messi as a one of two attackers in a 5-3-2 formation that the Barcelona star said left him and Sergio Aguero cut off from the game. Argentina played poorly and was lucky to be ahead 1-0 at half-time after an own-goal.
In the second half Sabella let Messi drop behind Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain in 4-3-3 formation, a switch that paid dividends as Messi scored a brilliant goal following a 1-2 with Higuain.
"That's how we're used to playing. That's how we played in most of the friendlies and qualifiers," Messi said. Asked why he thought Sabella chose to start the game with a more cautious lineup, he said: "You have to ask Alejandro. He makes the decisions and decided that we should go out to play that way ... Maybe he was thinking he didn't want to let the three points slip away."
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected to return to Sabella's starting line-up as the two-time winners look to seal their place in the second round of the World Cup with a victory over Iran.
'Argentines made too many mistakes against Bosnia'