Prediction: Nigeria v Argentina - My Arsenal Blog

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Prediction: Nigeria v Argentina

Posted on June 25, 2018 by David Nugent

Verdict: Argentina win

Best odds: 11/20

Bookmakers: Bet365

On Tuesday night, the complicated Group D of the World Cup reaches matchday three, as Nigeria and Argentina go head-to-head Saint Petersburg. A draw could be enough to see the African side make the knockout stages, while nothing but a win will see the South American giants make the last 16.

Nigeria

Following an opening game 2-0 defeat against group leaders Croatia, Nigeria recorded a 2-0 win over Iceland in their last outing to put their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages back in their hands.

The permutations are complicated. However, if the Super Eagles win the game, they would qualify for the knockout stages, no matter what happens in the other match between Iceland and Croatia. However, if the other game finishes in a draw and the African side avoid defeat, then it will be the Super Eagles who advance to the last 16 of the competition.

Team News

Boss Gernot Rohr is unlikely to make too many changes for this clash. Nigeria could continue with three at the back after the system brought success against Iceland. Tyronne Ebuehi may start at left wing-back in place of Brian Idowu. Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi could start this game on the bench.

Argentina

Argentina have been the talk of the World Cup for all the wrong reasons. La Albiceleste have picked up just one point from their two group games so far, as star player Lionel Messi has struggled to hit form.

The scenario is simple for Argentina. They have to win this game. Nigeria have a superior goal difference to the South Americans, so nothing short of a big win would see Jorge Sampaoli’s team go through, even then there is the added complication of Iceland, who also have superior goal difference than La Albiceleste. They will know they have to lift their game from their two displays in Russia so far to gain the result they need to make the last 16.

Team News

After their woeful display against Croatia, Argentina boss Sampaoli is expected to make significant changes to his team. The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Franco Armani and Ever Banega could all start for La Albiceleste.

Conclusion

Nigeria are such an unpredictable team. They can be fantastic, but they can also be terrible. The Argentina players realise their hopes of maintaining their place in Russia 2018 are hanging by a thread, so I do believe they will record a win. Whether that will be enough to keep them in the competition is unclear, though.

Verdict: Argentina win

Best odds: 11/20

Bookmakers: Bet 365

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