Counter-attacking Nigeria could be value on the handicap in Porto Alegre.
Argentina have won both Group F matches so far but that is almost solely down to Lionel Messi. The Barcelona forward scored their winning goal against Bosnia-Herzogovina and struck in the first minute of stoppage time to break Iranian hearts in Belo Horizonte.
They are already through to the knockout stages but coach Alejandro Sabella knows he is going to have to find a way to accommodate all of his star players if his team are to go all the way and that formula has eluded him so far.
Any team that boasts a front four of Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria should be a match for anyone but they’ve looked laboured at times against modest opposition and it’s been a case of too many cooks in and around the penalty area.
Behind the forward line, they look nothing special either and it might be worth backing final opponents Nigeria on the handicap at 7/5 given the Super Eagles need just a point to go through to the knockout stages themselves having yet to concede a goal in the competition.
Nigeria’s win over Bosnia-Herzogovina was their first in nine matches at World Cup finals but fully deserved. Stephen Keshi’s side were a lot more lively in Cuiba than in their opening game with Iran and Stoke’s Peter Odemwingie finished smartly after good work from strike partner Emmanuel Emenike.
They are a team that like to play on the break so it probably won’t bother them that Argentina are likely to dominate possession in Porto Allegre. Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel will protect the back four but is trading a disciplinary tight rope as another yellow card will see him suspended for their last 16 time if they qualify.
There is always a chance that the Group F leaders could choose to rest a few of their first-choice XI with qualification already in the bag and the draw is 13/5.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Wednesday June 25th at the Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre.