Nigeria v Argentina Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 23, 2018
Saint Petersburg Stadium – World Cup Group D
Argentina’s last chance of avoiding an embarrassing group stage elimination comes when they take on Nigeria in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The Albiceleste must beat the Super Eagles to have any chance of making the round of 16, while Nigeria would progress if they win or if Iceland fail to beat Croatia.
Nigeria and Argentina have met eight times, with the Super Eagles winning twice and the Albiceleste five times. The two nations have actually met a remarkable four times at World Cup finals competitions, with Argentina winning every one of those meetings. The most recent match came in November when Nigeria won 4-2 in an international friendly.
Nigeria have no new injury worries ahead of Tuesday evening’s game. Tyronne Ebuehi may hope for a starting berth after impressing as a half-time substitute against Iceland. Argentina are likely to ring the changes after their poor performance so far, with Franco Armani, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala all hoping for starts.
Nigeria v Argentina Preview and Predictions
Nigeria turned around their tournament with a fine 2-0 victory over Iceland last time out and the Super Eagles now have qualification in their own hands. A win over Argentina would put them into the knockout stages of the World Cup for the second time in a row, but they’re sizeable outsiders to do that at 6/1. However, Gernot Rohr’s men can take heart from their 4-2 win over the Albiceleste in November last year.
Morale is at an all-time low for Argentina. Jorge Sampaoli’s charges looked dead and buried after their humiliating defeat to Croatia but Nigeria’s victory has given them a sliver of hope. Sampaoli will ring the changes so far and the bookmakers seem convinced that Argentina will still reach the round of 16. They’re at best odds of 4/7 to beat the West Africans. The draw, which will be of no use to them is at 15/4.
If they are to sneak through, they will need star man Lionel Messi to step up to the plate. Messi missed a penalty kick against Iceland and was then completely anonymous against Croatia, cutting a frustrating figure. Messi is at 13/5 to break the deadlock, and – for those of you who expect his class to shine through sooner rather than later – is at 14/1 to net a hat-trick.
Nigeria to win and both teams to score at 11/1
Argentina’s defence looked completely crestfallen against Croatia, while Nigeria are on a high. Even a Messi masterclass might not be enough.
Lionel Messi to score first at 13/5
Regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, Messi has been off the pace so far in Russia. His country needs him now more than ever.