Argentina vs Nigeria: A must Win – Sampaoli

Musa scores against Iceland
Musa scores against Iceland

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Argentina vs Nigeria: A must Win – Sampaoli

After  surviving a reported  player revolt, Argentina coach  Jorge Sampaoli  is pinning his  hopes  on PSG  winger Angel Di Maria, Juventus  scoring sensation Gonzalo Higuain  and  Sevilla  central midfielder  Ever Banega  in a 4-3-3 formation  to beat  Nigeria in their Russia 2018 World Cup final  group  match in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday  and land in the second round.

Musa scores against Iceland
Musa scores against Iceland

Two-time world champions  La  Albiceleste   will be sent packing from  Russia if they lose to the Super Eagles – after their shock 1-1 draw with Iceland and their 3-0  humiliation  by Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Thursday.

Sampaoli’s 4-3-2-1 formation with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi the soul and spirit was blamed for the Argentines’ poor showing in both encounters.

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Sampaoli, who is under intense fire from the Argentine media and fans following the South American powerhouse’s mediocre run in the Eurasia country, has reportedly agreed to make changes to his team for the decisive  Saint Petersburg Stadium clash after much pressure from star  players including Messi and Javier Mascherano.

The former Chile manager has decided to drop Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero for Higuain, who was started as a substitute along with Di Maria and  Banega against Croatia.

It was learnt that Banega, who has been lined with a move to Arsenal, will play from  the left side of the midfield in front of the defence, with  Higuain leading Messi and Di Maria  in the attack.

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Banega, 29, is gifted with great dribbling skills, vision and accurate passing, which have made him popular at his La Liga side.

Reports from the Argentine  camp on Sunday  claimed that Sampaoli  tested  his probable team for  today’s match on Monday  with River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani, Gabriel Mercado, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Enzo Perez,  Nicholas Otamendi,  Banega, Messi, Higuain  and Di María in the  starting lineup.

Sampaoli is banking on a versatile Banega to team up with former Barcelona star Mascherano to nullify the threat posed by Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa.

Musa, who shot down Iceland with two superb goals in Volgograd on Friday, has scored four World Cup goals, two against Argentina, and he will aim to compound their woes.

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