Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Nigeria to show 'no mercy' vs Lionel Messi and Argentina - Gernot Rohr

Nigeria to show 'no mercy' vs Lionel Messi and Argentina - Gernot Rohr

The next match for the Nigerians saw the complete opposite of what we saw in the first game against Croatia as they recorded an impressive 2-0 victory over Iceland, buoyed by keeping an Argentina side to a draw, courtesy of 2 Ahmed Musa goals in the second half. A resurgent Super Eagles could prove to be tricky opposition for an Argentina side facing infighting in their camp with manager Jorge Sampaoli's position threatened, and anything but a win would result in elimination.

The Barcelona man scored the hat-trick which took the Albiceleste to the World Cup but Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says they will not focus exclusively on him.

Reports claim Lionel Messi and Co demanded the head of the former Chile boss - and wanted the Argentine FA to replace him with general manager and 1986 World Cup victor Jorge Barruchaga.

According to an official of the Super Eagles, the team has changed its training pattern to be in tune with the conditions expected in St. Petersburg."Normally, we usually rest for a day after a match but the coaches took the team to training on Saturday as part of preparation for Tuesday's match".

But Nigeria, who are likely to need no more than a point to finish second, believe the balance of power is finally going to swing their way.

Argentina must beat Nigeria and hope Iceland fail to beat Croatia in order to reach the knockout stage of the completion.

But it is doubtful whether the gulf in World Cup pedigree and accomplishments between the two teams (Argentina had won two FIFA World Cup titles and finished as runners-up on two occasions before Nigeria made her debut at the finals in 1994) would amount to much when Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's whistle goes for kick-off on Tuesday night.

Former Eagles midfielder Friday Ekpo said the Argentines would want to make a statement against Nigeria. Nigeria (four points) can top the group if they beat Argentina and Croatia lose to Ireland, as well as if Nigeria's goal difference improves ahead of Croatia.

And his 31st birthday on Sunday, June 24, only served to highlight how time is running out for Messi to win a major global tournament.

Lionel Messi has failed to score with his last 22 shots in matches at World Cup.

"Nigeria played in two different styles".

It will be the fifth meeting between the sides at the World Cup, with Argentina winning the previous four by a one-goal margin.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Argentina v/s Nigeria match will kick off at 11.30 PM IST (2330 HRS). "I am totally convinced that team will go onto the pitch with great energy to secure a victory".

"What is going on with Argentina doesn't interest me, it's only important how they play tomorrow".

Musa, 25, scored the two goals that gave Nigeria victory over Iceland in the Group D fixture of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Argentina and Iceland have one point each.

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