Argentina were left looking for a miracle after their 3-0 defeat to Croatia and they were given a lifeline as Nigeria beat Iceland. However, the African side have now put themselves in a position where they will probably qualify with a point and they were much improved against the Scandinavians. They beat Argentina 4-2 in November and their strength is in the pace they have in attack.
Given how slow Argentina’s defence and midfield were against Croatia – getting caught out time and again – Nigeria will fancy they can cause some problems on the break. Moreover, Argentina’s performance against Croatia was far from a one-off and they’ve won just one of their last seven competitive games against teams we had ranked below them – going just W1-D3-L3. As a result, we expect Nigeria to get at least a draw and for that to take them through to the Last 16.
Argentina have failed to score in six of their last 11 competitive matches and just three of those games have seen both teams score. If they do win then Argentina will most likely have found a way to keep Nigeria out, as 11 of the African’s last 12 defeats have come to nil while eight of Argentina’s last nine victories have come with a clean sheet. However, such have been Argentina’s troubles in front of goal that is just as likely that they are the ones firing a blank and so ‘No’ in the both teams to score market looks great value.
Ahmed Musa was brought into the team for Nigeria’s last game and terrorised the Icelandic defence throughout, with his speed on the counter key to him scoring a brace. Argentina’s slow backline should give him further chances to impress and it’s worth noting that four of the last five internationals he’s scored in he’s scored the opener. Interestingly, the exception in that was when he scored a brace against Argentina in the World Cup four years ago and his first came after just four minutes, but Lionel Messi had already struck that day.