Both Nigeria and Argentina still have a chance to qualify for the knockout stage. But for that, they need a good result in this game. So, there’s no doubt that a super-entertaining match awaits us on Tuesday evening at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium.
After beating Iceland 2:0, Nigeria are on the second place on the group table. They are literally one step away from booking a place in the knockout stage, but that step seems to be a big one. They will have to step over Argentina in order to get there. Surely, Argentina have better players than them, but the morale is on their side.
Nigeria put on a great performance against Iceland and are now very confident they can do the same against Argentina. Their attackers were particularly impressive in that match, especially Ahmed Musa who scored both goals.
Nigeria know that they have the advantage when it comes to speed and you can be sure that their attackers will try to outrun Argentina’s defenders. And it seems that they will have lots of opportunities for that, as Argentina will need to open up and go for a win in this game.
But, Nigeria could do even with a draw, under the condition that Iceland don’t win big against Croatia. In that scenario, Iceland would need to beat Croatia with several goals difference, which seems pretty unlikely. That said, you can be sure that Nigeria will defend their goal fiercely and look for their chances from counterattacks.
In normal circumstances, Argentina would be a huge favorite here, but the morale is on the side of the African team. Argentina lost heavily in the match against Croatia and in the opening round, they drew with Iceland. The bad results have caused a lot of panic among their fans and it’s needless to say that the morale in the locker-room is pretty low.
Some blame their manager Jorge Sampaoli, others think Lionel Messi is the biggest culprit for Argentina’s poor performances. Those who think that the manager is most responsible for the failures in the previous two rounds, believe that he hasn’t picked the best possible XI. Instead, he gave a chance to several inexperienced players, such as Maximiliano Meza, a player who played only 2 times for his national team before the start of the World Cup.
The people who blame Lionel Messi think that he’s actually the one who gets to pick the squad, not the manager. On top of that, Messi hasn’t been seen playing at the top level on this tournament and had even missed a penalty against Iceland, which cost his team a victory.
But, Messi has a chance to become Argentina’s hero again. The same thing he did in the last round of the qualifiers when he scored a hat-trick against Ecuador, after his side allowed a goal in the early moments of the match. Maybe, it’s his time to shine again?
Uzoho – Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Balogun, Moses, Idowu – Ndidi, Mikel, Etebo – Iheanacho, Musa
Guman – Rojo, Otamendi, Ansaldi, Tagliafico – Mascherano, Banega, Biglia – Di Maria, Messi, Higuain
Nigeria vs. Argentina Match Prediction
You can be sure that Argentina will go for a win in this match as so much is at stake here. They will attack from the very start, which will leave room for Nigeria’s counterattacks. I honestly don’t see how Argentina’s leaky defense would stop pacey Nigeria forwards. That said, I also don’t see Nigeria stopping Messi and the boys from scoring at least a couple times. Betting on a high number of goals seems like a very smart move.
Nigeria vs. Argentina Betting Tips
- Over 3.5 Goals @3.15 (Unibet)
- BTS @1.90 (bet365)