Arnav's expectations from Nigeria vs Argentina match

26 June, 2018, 21:30 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Super Eagles of Nigeria

It is Argentina versus Nigeria for the third consecutive FIFA World Cup and the match has great consequences.

However, after drawing with Iceland and losing to Croatia, beating Nigeria is unlikely to be an easy task for Lionel Messi and Co.

Nigeria defender Bryan Idowu is looking forward to perhaps swapping jerseys with Messi, but he especially wants to send him out of the competition.

The Barcelona and former Liverpool midfielder wanted a change at the helm as part of a "pact for life" before the final group game with Nigeria in St Petersburg.

"Tomorrow we need to play with a lot of heart, with strong structure". Messi hasn't shown it to this point, but he is one of the best players to ever play the game.

"I am the coach so the next day I started to think about how we can win tomorrow as a team".

Nigeria put themselves in a strong position to qualify from Group D alongside Croatia after they beat Iceland 2-0 in their second fixture.


The events required to clinch progression for Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi's side are beyond their control - Jorge Sampaoli's men must beat Nigeria (7pm United Kingdom time) and hope Iceland fail to defeat group-topping Croatia.

Idowu, who was born in St. Petersburg, is tipped to start left-back. Nigeria have won twice in friendly matches - a 4-1 win in Abuja in 2011 and a 4-2 win previous year in Krasnodar. "Now the stakes are higher".

Argentina are now enduring their longest winless run in World Cup finals history (D2 L2) and have never previously gone through a first-round World Cup group stage without at least one victory before. Messi scored twice when Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 in the group stage four years ago. Like Messi, he would have been playing in his fourth World Cup, but he missed Germany 2006 by the whiskers (Nigeria thwarted by head-to-head voodoo) and South Africa 2010 as a result of injury. "I know that if you go into a game and you don't really enjoy it then it is very hard to play well".

That was the true beginning of the Super Eagles-versus-the-Albiceleste franchise, the contest with so many sequels: Five meetings in World Cup group matches within six tournaments and two Olympic finals.

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With just a point from its two games, Argentina is in dire need for its talisman to fire against its final group stage opponent Nigeria and ensure a longer stay in the quadrennial event. The 14-year Barcelona star has tallied five career World Cup goals and an incredible 64 in global competition.

"It was the beginning of March".

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