Nigeria: Enyeama; Efe, Omeruo, Yobo, Oshaniwa; Onazi, Mikel; Babatunde, Musa, Odemwingie; Emenike.
Victor Moses, Godfrey Oboabona and Reuben Gabriel are all doubts for Wednesday’s game.
Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo; Mascherano, Gago, Di Maria; Messi, Aguero, Higuain.
101GG Betting Tip:
Nigeria and Argentina will meet in Porto Alegre on Wednesday in the final round of Group F.
Argentina has secured their spot in the knockout stages after winning both of their games, although their display was far from convincing. The 2:1 against Bosnia, was followed by a 1:0 over Iran, when yet again Leo Messi came to the rescue and scored a 93rd minute goal to bag the three points.
Iran looked shockingly closer to scoring in the second half than did the mighty Argentine front line, and Alejandro Sabella has some work left to do if he wishes to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Nigeria managed a big win over Bosnia-Herzegovina last Sunday but was very lucky to benefit from some controversial referee calls during the game. A first half Dzeko goal was erroneously called off for alleged offside, and the winning goal was scored after a clear Nigeria foul just outside the box was overlooked, allowing for the ball to reach Peter Odemwingie. Captain Vincent Enyeama had a brilliant display in the second half and kept the Super Eagles in contention.
Nigeria needs a draw to guarantee a spot in the round of 16, while an upset win could see Stephen Keshi’s men overtake Argentina for the top spot of the group.
The Albiceleste are expected to feature their strongest XI despite having been already qualifying for the next round in order to maintain continuity. Perhaps this is a lesson learned from the 2010 World Cup, in which Argentina was in a similar position, rested their star players, and went down badly to Germany as a consequence.
101GG Prediction: Argentina 3 – Nigeria 1
Some essential facts and stats to help with online betting:
This will be the fourth meeting involving Nigeria and Argentina at a FIFA World Cup; Argentina won the previous three to have taken place.
Nigeria have registered just one win in six previous attempts against Argentina in all competitions.
Nigeria have never won against a South American team at World Cup (L4).
Argentina have won 11 and lost just one of their last 14 World Cup group games (D2), scoring 27 and conceding just five in total in this run.
Lionel Messi has scored eight goals in his last seven appearances for Argentina.
Argentina are looking to win all three group games at a World Cup, as they managed in 2010 under Diego Maradona.
The Super Eagles have now gone 221 minutes without conceding a World Cup goal.
Since losing their first game against African opposition at the World Cup (Cameroon in 1990), Argentina have won their last four from sides from that continent.