It’s still all to play for on the final day of Group D as Nigeria take to the field against an Argentina side that is on the verge of a shock elimination. The two-time world champions currently sit bottom of the group on goal difference – simply put, it is win or bust!
The Nigerians have grown into the tournament, following up an opening day defeat to Croatia with a comfortable 2-0 win over Iceland on matchday two. The ‘Super Eagles’ need just a draw to qualify, providing Iceland do not win by two or more goals.
Interestingly, Nigeria have drawn Argentina in their group in four of the six World Cup (WC) finals that they have qualified for, losing every one of those games. This stat will be of comfort to Argentina, a nation that has not finished bottom of a WC group since 1958.
Argentina have not failed to qualify from a WC group since the 2002 offering. However, they have survived the group stage on ten of their last 11 appearances at the finals.
Key battles: In his nation’s win over Iceland, 19-year-old Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho became the second youngest player ever to keep a clean sheet at WC finals.
He will have his work cut out against Lionel Messi, who got two against Nigeria in the 2014 WC, but the ‘Atomic Flea’ has been off form so far this WC.
Stat attack: Nigeria have lost every single one of their five encounters to date against South American sides at a WC finals.
Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between the sides.
Across the last six meetings (in all competitions) each side has registered three wins apiece.
These sides last met in November 2017, with Nigeria running out shock 4-2 winners.
Over 3.5 goals have been shared between the sides in each of the last four H2H encounters.
Referee: Cakir C. (Tur)
Venue: Saint-Petersburg Stadium (Saint Petersburg)
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Stat attack: Japan ha