2014 FIFA World Cup: Nigeria vs Argentina Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/25/14
Nigeria (1-0-1) vs. Argentina (2-0)
World Cup: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Brazil)
The Line: Argentina -200 See the Latest Odds
Nigeria and Argentina are in the driver’s seat to advance to the round of 16 and they determine group seeding in a match up on Wednesday.
Nigeria can advance to the round of 16 with a draw or a win with certainty but even if they lose they can still push through thanks to their two goal cushion in goal differential but they’ll have to be careful against a solid side from Argentina. Nigeria have often been labelled the best side from Africa in this tournament and at the moment they stand to be the only nation from the continent to move through to the quarter finals, though Ghana and Algeria can still change that. Nigeria is a very athletic squad with great football IQ in the attacking third and they demonstrated their resolve against a Bosnia side that was trying to do everything in their power to get a win when the teams faced off last week. Nigeria were held to a scoreless draw in their opener against Iran and held on for a 1-0 victory over Bosnia but they have had a ton of chances and probably deserve a better fate in the attacking zone. That will be a tough feat to accomplish though as Argentina are one of the better teams in the world and will be looking for a convincing win here.
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Argentina are prohibitive favourites to advance out of this group on top and are one of a handful of teams considered good enough to win the World Cup and while they have two wins in two tries they haven’t been overly impressive in their endeavours. Lionel Messi needed a majestic marker in the fifth minute of extra time just to upend a pesky Iranian side and his supporting cast has been invisible as Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguerro haven’t had the tournaments expected of them. That can all change in the blink of an eye as this side is ridiculously talented but they have to remember that they aren’t out of the woods yet and if they lose this one to Nigeria they could match up against France in the round of 16 as opposed to a team like Ecuador or Switzerland and that could be a nightmare matchup. While Argentina are the better side I have a really ugly feeling (as a French supporter) that this game will go in favour of Nigeria and force a ridiculous round of 16 matchup between two world powers and there is always one game in that stanza of high quality. I am taking Nigeria to keep it close but will be sprinkling on the money line as well.