Factbox – Nigeria vs Argentina

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Nigeria play Argentina in a World Cup Group D match in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

Where: Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg

Capacity: 68,134

When: Tuesday June 26, 2100 local (1800 GMT/1400 ET/1900 WAT)

Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)

Key stats:

– To have any hope of progressing, Argentina must beat Nigeria and also hope Iceland do not win against Croatia, as that could send them home anyway, depending on goal difference.

– Victory for Nigeria’s Super Eagles would guarantee them progress. A draw may also be enough even if Iceland beat Croatia, depending on goal difference.

– Croatia are already through to the second round with two wins, and look sure to come first in the group unless they lose and Nigeria rack up a massive win against Argentina.

– Iceland must win to qualify, and hope that Nigeria lose or that they pip them on goal difference if the Africans draw.

– Nigeria have been paired with Argentina five times in six World Cups.

– The group runners-up will face the winners of Group C, where France are currently top. The group winners will face Group C’s runners-up, with Denmark currently occupying that spot.

– Lionel Messi turns 31 on Sunday and may be playing in his last World Cup. Many Argentines believe he needs to win it to equal the greatness of Diego Maradona who took the 1986 trophy.

– However, with Messi missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Iceland then unable to stop a 3-0 drubbing by Croatia, he has had a nightmare tournament so far.

– Nigeria are the only African team returning to the World Cup finals after playing in Brazil four years ago. They have advanced past the first round three times but never reached the last eight – the benchmark of African achievement.

Previous meetings: The two sides have met eight times, with five wins for Argentina, one for Nigeria and two draws. Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 at the last World Cup, but the Africans got revenge with a 4-2 win in a 2017 friendly.

© Reuters


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