|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleWednesday, 25 June 2014 at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 21:30 IST
Venue Estádio Beira-Rio (Porto Alegre)
Next Wednesday, Nigeria will go head-to-head with the powerful Argentina at Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on a match that might give the African team a place on the next stage of the competition in case of draw.
After making a very poor image of themselves against Iran in their first group match, Nigeria managed to bounce back as they imposed the second defeat of the tournament to Bosnia last Saturday. The African Super Eagles won the match against Bosnia 1-0 thanks to a goal by Odemwingie after a solo and powerful effort from Emenike. Nevertheless, the team’s performance still left something to be desired as they experienced plenty of difficulties to repel Bosnia’s pressure, especially during the last moments of the match.
For the match against Argentina, Stephen Keshi will certainly keep pushing his usual 4-3-3 style, although he might change the midfield triangle to a more defensive approach, placing two men behind Mikel, in order to try and stop the Argentinians’ usual attacking avalanche. Up in the front, Keshi will surely rely on the powerful and quick movements of Moses, Odemwingie, and Emenike.
As for Argentina, the match against Nigeria will certainly only serve for them to confirm their place at the top of the group, since they have already granted their place on the next stage of the competition, thanks to their win against Iran. After a modest performance against Bosnia, the Argentinians failed to produce anything better on their match with Iran last Saturday. Alejandro Sabella’s men were very predictable throughout the entire match and if it wasn’t from yet another moment of pure genius by Lionel Messi on the dying moments of the match Argentina would have conceded a somewhat embarrassing draw against the Iranians.
Even after two consecutive draws, Alejandro Sabella didn’t manage to get rid of the pundits’ severe criticism and also from the Argentinian media regarding his controversial options and the team’s modest performances.
For the match against Nigeria, Sabella will probably promote some changes in his team, as he might give some first-team football time to some of the players who have not yet had the chance to play in this tournament.
Despite their recent unconvincing performances, Argentina are favourites to win the match, especially against a Nigerian side that has been showing several signs of inconsistency lately.
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WDWWW
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWWD
Nigeria (4-3-3) - Enyeama, Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Oshaniwa, Onazi, Mikel, Azeez, Moses, Odemwingie, Emenike
Argentina (4-3-3) - Romero - Zabaleta - Rojo - Garay - Fernández - Gago - Mascherano - Pérez - Messi - Palacios - Higuain
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