Nigeria vs Argentina Preview, Tips and Betting Predictions
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Final score: Nigeria 1 – 2 Argentina
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Nigeria have given themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for the knock-out rounds but they face a tough challenge against Argentina. Jorge Sampaoli’s side need three points here in order to progress and they will be expected to triumph against Gernot Rohr’s men. They will be largely relying upon the brilliance of Lionel Messi but also have Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain in their squad and there’s plenty of firepower to call upon. They should pick up three points in this clash and that should be enough to secure their passage. They can be backed at 1.55 with 888sport.
Nigeria vs Argentina Preview
Nigeria were excellent against Iceland and thoroughly deserved their victory. They were much improved from their opening display and will be confident of giving Argentina a few problems. Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo are all tricky customers and will be looking to exploit the slow and ponderous Argentinian defence. Their fans will produce a wall of noise as they roar on their side in this fixture.
Argentina struggled against Croatia and their defence buckled under pressure.Willy Caballero was to blame for their opening goal and they never managed to recover. Lionel Messi has come under scrutiny but he was starved of service in the second half and their over-reliance on the Barcelona man is a huge concern. Jorge Sampaoli got his tactics wrong on Thursday and he is likely to make a number of changes for this tie. Can they keep a rare clean sheet against the Super Eagles?
After their woeful display against Croatia, Argentina need to get back to basics here. They mustn’t be as open in this game and will have to maintain their concentration. Nigeria’s games have both ended 2-0 and this could go the same way. They don’t score many goals and it took over 60 minutes to break down Iceland. They kept a rare clean sheet in their last game and were significantly better at the back. Both Teams to Score? No is the likeliest outcome in this one. It can be backed at 1.82 with 888sport.
Argentina’s last game featured three goals but they were the architects of their own downfall. They’ve only managed a single goal at the tournament so far and they are struggling in the final third. Nigeria aren’t natural high-scorers and struggled for ideas against Croatia. There is plenty at stake in this game and it may be a nervy 90 minutes for both teams. Under 2.5 Goals has landed plenty of times at this tournament and it should be the best bet in this game. It can be backed at 1.96 with Sports Interaction.
Group D Standings
Croatia are already through after taking maximum points from their opening couple of games. Argentina and Iceland are joint-bottom with just one point each, whilst Nigeria have given themselves every chance of qualifying and sit on three points.
Argentina have won four of the last six meetings between these sides, although they lost their last encounter which came in November 2017
Both teams have scored in each of the last four meetings between these sides. Both Teams to Score? Yes is priced at 1.94 with William Hill
2002 was the last time that Argentina failed to qualify for the knock-out round and they need to collect three points to avoid the same fate here
They’ve already conceded four goals in Russia which is equal to their total at the 2014 World Cup
Nigeria have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions. Their last victory was in March
They managed 10 attempts on goal against Iceland
Nigeria’s victory against Iceland was just their second tournament victory since 1998
Head to Head
Nigeria and Argentina have developed a habit of bumping into one another at the World Cup. They met four years ago in Brazil with the South American side running out 3-2 winners. It was a thrilling contest with two goals inside the first four minutes. They also bumped into one another at the 2002 and 2010 tournaments with Los Albiceleste winning 1-0 on both occasions. They’ve met eight times in total with Nigeria winning on two occasions.
Argentina 2-4 Nigeria – 14/11/2017
Nigeria 2-3 Argentina – 25/06/2014
Argentina 3-1 Nigeria – 06/09/2011
Nigeria 4-1 Argentina – 01/06/2011
Jon Obi-Mikel – The former Chelsea midfielder isn’t getting any younger but he remains instrumental for the Super Eagles. He plays a slightly more advanced role and his vast experience is helpful to the younger members of the squad. He still has enough energy to get around the pitch and he could help his side progress to the round of 16.
Lionel Messi – All eyes will be on Lionel Messi at this tournament and he will be aiming to fire his side into the next round. The Barcelona man is solely responsible for his side reaching this tournament and he also netted four times in Brazil. He starts the tournament as favourite in the top goalscorer market and he should be able to have a huge say in this match.
at 01.00 p.m – St Petersburg Stadium