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Nigeria vs. Argentina - World Cup 2014 Preview

nigeria-argentina

Nigeria vs. Argentina
Match Date: 25 June 2014 (local time)
Match Venue: Estádio José Pinheiro Borba (Beira-Rio) (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)

Nigeria

Stephen Keshi’s side were fortunate to win against a Bosnia-Herzegovina unit whom generally dictated the game. I felt that Emenike’s bulldozing run was perfectly legitimate and really personified what was a powerful performance by the burly striker. Victor Moses was extremely disappointing in the first game and Odemwingie's goal will almost surely see the Chelsea striker relegated to the bench again. Babatunde will offer a far more pragmatic option for a Nigerian side eager to retain possession for larger periods of the game. Onazi and Mikel will play in the sitting roles, aiming to protect a back four consisting of veteran Joseph Yobo and rookie Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo. Godfrey Oboabona’s continued absence may be felt in this important encounter. I just can’t see this Nigerian side coping with a talented Argentine side desperate to prove their pre-tournament billing. Vincent Enyeama will need to have an excellent game to keep the likes of Di Maria and Higuain at bay, in a game that they fortunately need not win in order to advance.

Argentina

Argentina can count themselves extremely fortunate that they survived a late surge from a spirited Iranian outfit. The totemic figure of Messi bailed them out in typical fashion, which has only served to cast further doubt over the World Cup aspirations of the three times World Champions. This may be a chance to rest Messi and Aguero, affording Argentina the luxury of experimenting with a 4-3-3 system that saved them against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Di Maria and Lavezzi will probably offer the pace in wide positions while Higuain gets the nod up front. Nigeria’s midfield work-rate will necessitate strong performances from Fernandez and Gago. Perhaps it would be wise for Alejandro Sabella to leave Messi on the bench, just to see how dependant Argentina is on the eternal wunderkind of world football. Either way, Argentina will no doubt be emboldened by their last-gasp win against Iran and will be eager to lay their marker down at this year’s tournament. Argentina have no fresh injury concerns in their side and will be hoping to seal the deal in emphatic fashion on Wednesday.

World Cup 2014 Betting tips: Argentina

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