Home Fifa World Cup - Russia 2018 Nigeria vs Argentina match build up #WorldCup

Nigeria vs Argentina match build up #WorldCup



Nigeria switched to a 3-5-2 formation for the 2-0 win against Iceland, and could name an unchanged line-up.

Captain John Obi Mikel fractured his hand in their last match and is likely to play wearing a protective cast.

After using a 4-2-3-1 formation against Iceland and a 3-4-3 versus Croatia, Argentina are expected to change once again, with a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 expected.

Goalkeeper Willy Caballero is set to be dropped after his error in the 3-0 defeat by the Croats.

He is likely to be replaced by the uncapped Franco Armani, who has impressed since joining River Plate earlier this year.

Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega are in contention for recalls, while Gonzalo Higuain could replace Sergio Aguero up front.


Despite a disastrous campaign so far, there is still hope for winless Argentina. Permutations permitting, there is a good chance that three points versus Nigeria will send them through – and the Argentines have never completed a first round group stage at a World Cup without at least one victory.


The only time they returned home without a win came in a pure knock-out format in 1934; a squad comprising only amateurs spent over a month at sea only to lose 3-2 to Sweden in the first round and bow out. Should the current team be eliminated in St Petersburg, there would be plenty of Argentina fans happy to see the team – and under-fire coach Jorge Sampaoli – put on the slow boat back to Buenos Aires.

Unlike Argentina, Nigeria’s switch to a back three paid off in their last game, a 2-0 win versus Iceland, and another victory would send them through.


Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano: “The relationship with [head coach Jorge] Sampaoli is totally normal, but if we feel uncomfortable, we will raise it, otherwise we would be hypocrites.

“The opposite would be to harm the team, we must seek the collective benefit, we are 23, also those of the squad. We are not playing well and we take charge of the results.”

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr: “I thought before this World Cup we were here to learn. I think this team will be ready in 2022 and this World Cup is coming early, but we have a good chance to win against Argentina.”


Nigeria’s fate is under their own control, and they may feel they only need a point to progress.

I am not sure that will help them here. They are at their best if they go on the attack, but they seem unwilling to do so.

Prediction: 0-2


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