Argentina is going to face an uphill task in their football history when they face Nigeria in their final group stage match. It is a must-win situation for Argentina or else they have to pack their bags from Russia. It isn’t that Nigeria is a great team or have some influential players but it is the current form of La Albiceleste that needs to be fixed.
Under-fire coach Jorge Sampaoli’s tactics and a lot of rotation in playing eleven are also the things to be blamed for such poor form. Even the formation of starting eleven is a matter of discussion. He went with 3-4-3 in his defeat to Croatia making his week defense weaker. The players are struggling when they are playing from a different position. The players are often caught in open and even the midfield lacks creativity. Messi has to play in the midfield if Sampaoli wants some build-up in the game. If Messi does something like against Croatia it would be impossible for them to win the match.
The five-time Ballon d’or winner has billions of hopes and expectations on his shoulder. If he wants them to come true than he has to relax his mind and put his left foot on work. He had taken 12 shots so far but none of them effective enough to get past the goalkeeper. It isn’t the first time the Barcelona star is facing such situation, and every time when he faced it, he had responded stronger. If his team can provide him with a little bit of support he can certainly shut up the doubters.
The past is also in the favor of the La Albiceleste as both teams have met 4 times in World Cup with Argentina winning all the four. Looking on the African side they would be boosted up with a recent 2-0 victory against Iceland and their victory of 4-2 against Messi less Argentina during the last time the met.