Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Nigeria vs Argentina: Alex Iwobi talks tough ahead of clash

Nigeria vs Argentina: Alex Iwobi talks tough ahead of clash

Zabaleta, who won the 2005 Under-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics alongside Messi, wrote in his column for the BBC: "The happiest I saw Messi when I played alongside him for Argentina was in 2012 - he scored a hat trick against Brazil in NY and played the whole game with freedom and a smile on his face". "In the friendly against Argentina, they scored a free kick which was a gift also because the goalkeeper held the ball when he should not".

However, Nigeria have their own plans too. One win could get them on track, and despite their bad performance to this point, they are still favorites in this match. The next match for the Nigerians saw the complete opposite of what we saw in the first game against Croatia as they recorded an impressive 2-0 victory over Iceland, buoyed by keeping an Argentina side to a draw, courtesy of 2 Ahmed Musa goals in the second half.

With opponents Argentina certain to give their absolute all in this match, Nigeria will be relying on the flying victor to pose an attacking threat. The 31-year-old has so far struggled to make an impact, missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Iceland and being marked out of the game in the emphatic 3-0 defeat by Croatia. "We love this great player, Messi, everybody loves him", said Rohr on Monday.

The drama is set to unfold, and the game between Nigeria and Argentina will have a telling effect on the consequences.

France entered the tournament as one of the favourites to claim the trophy and after two games, have shown no signs of slowing down. "The next day, as a coach, all I thought about was winning", Sampaoli said.

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Former Argentina global Pablo Zabaleta is concerned by how "stressed and unhappy" Lionel Messi has appeared at the 2018 World Cup. But if Argentina claims all three points, it can still advance depending on the result of the other match between Croatia and Iceland.

Nicolas Otamendi ($6,500) - Due to Argentina's style, Otamendi spends more time around the opposing team's final third than most center-backs do. An Icelandic win over already-qualified Croatia, however, can make things complicated, with goal difference coming into play to decide the second spot in Group D.

"This is a different game from that of Iceland, so the tactics to be adopted by the coaches may be different". That hasn't worked out for them so far, but without a change in manager, their style is unlikely to shift for what could be their final match in Russian Federation.

Reports of unrest in the team have surfaced since their 3-0 loss to Croatia with coach Jorge Sampaoli under fire for their current form. Argentina, with one point from two games so far, have lurched from insipid to chaotic.

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