2014 World Cup Preview: Argentina vs. Nigeria

By Aydin Reyhan
Argentina Nigeria World Cup Preview
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Group F in the World Cup comes to an end tomorrow with Argentina — who have already advanced with six points — facing Nigeria, a side who should look for a win or draw just in case Iran defeats Bosnia by more than two goals. This is going to be a competitive match with both sides able to attack with multiple players knowing how to do damage. What may be shaky for both is the defense which is very well what it could all come down to.

Nigeria defeated Argentina by a score of 4-1 back in a 2011 friendly before Argentina returned the favor with a 3-1 win of their own just three months later. Now, they face off in Brazil with what could determine the fate of Nigeria’s World Cup. The Argentinians will not be looking to do any favors as the players who will take part all have a point to prove, especially if they have been riding the bench throughout the first two games.

Lionel Messi has scored a goal in each of the first two matches. If he is presented with the chance to take part in tomorrow’s match, he will look to do the same against what can arguably be described as his toughest opponent yet. He will be looking to run down the middle and only passing wide to his teammates if need be. Let’s remember that both of his goals arrived after driving down the middle toward the 18. He will most likely add his third if he gets enough minutes.

Emmanuel Emenike was Nigeria’s very best player against Bosnia as he held the ball up with his strength, sprinted down the flanks, assisted his team’s only goal and was the main option going forward all game long. He was the pest that ruined Bosnia’s chances in advancing to the Round of 16. Argentina’s midfield and defense will have their hands full in this one.

Prediction: Argentina 2, Nigeria 1

Argentina will hit twice before Nigeria finally answers with one of their own. Their defense will be left open while desperately trying to attack, which is why they are left wondering at 0-2 down.

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