Lionel Messi: Pablo Zabaleta makes Argentina revelation ahead of Nigeria crunch clash

Tyler Owen
June 26, 2018

It will not be an easy game for Nigeria since Argentina have good players but confidence will be high in the camp of the African side.

Diego Maradona has reportedly requested a meeting with the Argentina national team ahead of their final World Cup group stage game.

Messi and Argentina are in a must-win situation, they have to get maximum points to jump over Nigeria for second spot in Group D, if they get the win and Iceland does not beat Croatia in their final game, the South American side will play on in Russian Federation.

Soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association said earlier on Friday it was trying to identify the fans, who were filmed fighting at Thursday's World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod.

Will Argentina get the result they need on Tuesday night?

Both Group D games can be seen Tuesday at 1pm et/10am pt, Nigeria and Argentina can be found across the TSN Network, while Croatia will battle Iceland on TSN2. Argentina has to beat Nigeria in their 3rd and final group match at any cost.

Musa marks return with winning double as Nigeria beat Iceland
Ajayi said that the strength displayed had given hope that Nigeria would win Argentina in their final First Round match. Musa deftly controlled the ball before slamming it past Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson on the half-volley.

His body language was completely the opposite before the Croatia game on Thursday.

Messi was pictured with his head in his hand prior to kick-off against Croatia and Zabaleta has been concerned by his demeanour in Russian Federation. If form plays any role, expect the African team to make it really hard for Argentina as they showed in their glittering win against Iceland.

"The way the match was structured against Croatia didn't suit Messi", the coach said. If he had the ball less than usual then it is because Argentina did not dominate or have that many opportunities.

No official change has been made, but now TyC reports that the president of Argentina's soccer federation, Claudio Tapia, is supporting the players in their attempt to wrest control of the team away from Sampaoli.

"I think scoring against Argentina isn't that hard for me", he smiled after his man-of-the-match performance in Volgograd on Friday.

A month on from Messi's rescue mission in Ecuador, he sat out a friendly as Nigeria beat Argentina 4-2 back in November to highlight how reliant even a squad containing Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala remain on their number 10.

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