RUSSIA 2018: Will Musa be second time lucky? Featured
26 Jun

RUSSIA 2018: Will Musa be second time lucky?

This is the fixture that has the potential to be one of the clashes of the tournament so far.
 
An underwhelming Argentina side have left themselves on the verge of an embarrassing early exit after gaining just a point from their first two fixtures. 
 
With the group widely open, Argentina can all but ensure qualification to the knockout stages with a convincing win here but how they will deal with Ahmed Musa is one question on the lips of many an Argentine.
 
Ahmed Musa started Nigeria’s opening game against Croatia from the bench but was handed a starting place in their second against Iceland. The pacey Musa grabbed the opportunity and repaid Rohr’s confidence in him with brace to keep the Super Eagles’ hopes alive.
 
Nigeria will enter this fixture with a slight advantage and will be hoping to capitalize on an Argentina side who have already broken national records for all the wrong reasons in this tournament.
 
With just a point in their last two games, Argentina have one last chance to spare their blushes and get a much needed World Cup victory, but there is still much work required before they will be fit to enter the knockout stages.
 
The two sides are familiar oppositions and have actually met five times competitively, including encounters in the last two World Cups. Argentina have had the better of these competitive fixtures, having won four and drawn one. Nigeria bested the Argentines twice in friendly fixtures though, scoring four goals on both occasions.
 
In their last competitive meeting was in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup with Argentina emerging the victors in a tense game. Musa was on the scoresheet twice for Nigeria that day with Messi bagging a brace for his side too.
 
As many as eight Argentina players are tipped to announce their own international retirement after the tournament with many already beyond their prime years. They’ll not want to end those international careers on such a low points, though after near misses, having lost in the final of their last three major tournaments. 
 
They have the quality to edge past Nigeria but how ready is their defence for the Musa-led Nigeria attack?
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