Messi and teammates take on Nigeria at the Saint Petersburg Stadium looking to avoid group-stage elimination
Argentina take on Nigeria in what looks the most intriguing group stage clash this coming Tuesday (26 June). The South Americans, and two-time World Cup winners, are looking to salvage their sinking ship after picking up just a single point from their two group games thus far.
First things first
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Where should I be investing my money?
As previously mentioned, Argentina look to be in a perilous position in Group D with just one game left to play. Jorge Samapoli’s men sit bottom of the group with just one point from two matches, and need a minor miracle to progress to the round of 16.
With that said, you can still get a fairly short price on the Argentines reaching the knock-out stages. They are at just 1.72 to qualify and at 2.00 to fall at the first hurdle, according to Oddsshark.
Their opponents, Nigeria, are at 2.75 to qualify and just 1.40 to be eliminated, despite being two points ahead of Argentina at this stage. Croatia, who currently boast a 100 per cent record after two hugely impressive performances, are at just 1.001 to top the group, having already secured their passage to the round of 16.
That just leave minnows Iceland, Like Argentina, they have a proverbial mountain to climb, and with just one point thus far are priced longer at 6.50 to go further in the competition, and at just 1.11 to exit after the group phase.
And looking at this clash between Nigeria and Argentina, it is the South Americans who come in as the clear favourites to take all three points. Taking the simplest type of bet you can make – on the outcome of the match – Argentina are priced at 1.55 to walk away victorious, while Nigeria are out at 6.50.
Nigeria do however come into this game following an excellent showing against Iceland. Depending on how other results go, a draw may well be enough to see the Super Eagles progress, and you can back a stalemate in this game at 4.33.
Ahmed Musa was a constant goal threat in their last game, and the rapid forward is at 4.33 to score at any time during the game and 11.00 to get either the first or last goal of the game. With that said, there is no denying the firepower that Argentine boast amongst their ranks, and it will come as little surprise that their hopes of progressing fall once again on the shoulders of Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona forward is priced at just 1.66 to score during the game and at 3.40 to open the scoring. However, previously one of the favourites to win the Golden Boot, the 31-year-old is now at a huge 51.00 to finish as top scorer at the World Cup, with England’s Harry Kane the favourite to win that prize at 2.75.
In addition, these two sides have recent history, having met in a friendly back in November, with Nigeria prevailing 4-2, a result that can give them confidence ahead of this crucial World Cup group game. Both sides are big on attack and have leaky defences, meaning there could and indeed should be goals in this one – you can back both teams to score at just 1.90.
Over 2.5 goals is priced at 1.75, whereas you can potentially double your money with under 2.5 goals, at 2.05. If you like, you can be even more specific – under two goals in the game is at 4.00, two or three goals is at 2.00 and over three goals is at 2.75.
Earlier in the day, the final matches in Group C will be played, with Denmark meeting France and Peru taking on Australia. France, boasting a 100 per cent record, are at just 1.20 to top the group and after two defeats in a row Peru have already been eliminated.
Australia have an outside chance of qualifying and are at 6.00 to reach the round of 16. That would mean beating Peru and hoping other results go their way – they are at 3.00 to take all three points against the South Americans.
Denmark meanwhile currently sit second in Group C and are priced at just 1.12 to progress to the second round. A draw against France in their final game will be enough to see them through, a result which is priced at 2.70.
Odds: Nigeria (6.50), Argentina (1.55), draw (4.33)
2018 FIFA WORLD CUP THIRD ROUND GROUP GAMES
Monday, 25 June
3.00pm – (5.00) Saudi Arabia x Egypt (1.80)
3.00pm – (2.90) Uruguay x Russia (2.87)
7.00pm – (6.00) Iran x Portugal (1.66)
7.00pm – (1.36) Spain x Morocco (11.00)
Tuesday, 26 June
3.00pm – (3.00) Australia x Peru (2.50)
3.00pm – (4.75) Denmark x France (2.25)
7.00pm – (3.50) Iceland x Croatia (2.25)
7.00pm – (6.50) Nigeria x Argentina (1.55)
Wednesday, 27 June
3.00pm – (2.40) Mexico x Sweden (3.30)
3.00pm – (17.00) South Korea x Germany (1.20)
7.00pm – (7.50) Serbia x Brazil (1.50)
7.00pm – (1.80) Switzerland x Costa Rica (6.00)
Thursday, 28 June
3.00pm – (2.50) Japan x Poland (3.20)
3.00pm – (4.40) Senegal x Colombia (1.90)
7.00pm – (2.90) England x Belgium (2.80)
7.00pm – (4.50) Panama x Tunisia (1.85)