The Super Eagles would be used by frustrated Argentina to test an attacking systm that excludes Lionel Messi. Argentina has made many changes including a 4-3-3 system that would have six attackers with four defenders; Messi would be behind the top three, being part of the middle three supporting attack.
The middle three are expected to also help the defence but for now, every attention is attack. With only one point, Argentina has nothing to defend. So, everything is attack, attack, and attack. If they lose they lose, but if they win, they hope to survive with Iceland.Croatia result.
Messi is dangerous as setter (attacking midfielder) but Argentina wanted him to be finisher, using him as top striker and expecting other attackers to play for him. That has failed so far in Russia. When he lost a penalty, it added to his frustrations.
Now, the coach, after all the tumoil, has resolved to play him behind Huguian, Di Maria and one other in a three-man attack. The aim is to face Uzoho (Nigeria’s keeper) with the trio, hoping that Messi and the middle two could get balls to the attackers every other moment. It could work by keeping the Super Eagles of Nigeria defensive, under pressure. This would make their defenders to have less job.
On the other hand, if Nigeria could also be hard and forceful and get balls to Musa and Ihenacho or Ighalo, with Moses coming from the flanks, the Argentina defence may concede and the experiment may fail.
Its up to Nigeria to decide whether to soak pressure first and fight back later or to fight from the first blast of the whistle and also take risks at the same time. If they decide to sit back first, it may work by frustrating Argentina; but if it fails to work, they may concede goals and become desperate. Then, Messi will use the gaps to step into the attack and pump goals and meet up with Cristian Ronaldo.
Nigeria plans to play strong and hard but we do not know whether it would be from the onset or after attempting to hold Argentina. Drogba has advised Nigeria not to dare sit back to contain anything. It should be fire for fire, score I score. I agree. Else, you swallow goals and go home.
Nigeria has the ability to score against them and history shows narrow losses to Argentina over the years. Nigeria cannot say Argentina is a strange bed fellow. The two teams know each other and are both talented, but you cannot be a slave forever. The edge Nigeria has is some confidence that was not there in the first match. For whatever the case, Argentina is on an experiment. It may work, it may fail, depending on what Nigeria does. The problem is, when nobody is hopeful, Nigeria springs surprises, when hope is huge, they flop. Today is important.
Its time for Nigeria to break the Arg jinx! It’s doable.