Sampaoli retains faith in Messi to deliver

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Luka Modric will lead an nearly entirely revamped Croatia when his already-qualified team take on Iceland in their final Group D game at the World Cup on Tuesday.

Iceland will take on Croatia in their final Group D fixture on Tuesday.

Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho fancies the Super Eagles chances of beating Argentina today and making it to the last sixteen of the ongoing FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

It is understood that several players approached Argentine FA president Claudio Tapia to ask that Sampaoli be either sacked or give them a voice in team selection.

The two-time World Cup victor sent out words of encouragement for the man in search of his first silverware with the national side ahead of their do-or-die encounter with the Super Eagles.


Here we take look at some of Argentina's most notable exits and lucky escapes at previous World Cups. However, the name of Lionel Messi remains absent.

In October a year ago, the Barcelona forward bagged a hat-trick against Ecuador in World Cup qualifying, not to mention the countless other goals he's netted to save his country in World Cup qualifying.

Then against Croatia, Messi was anonymous as the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic bossed the game and they ran out 3-0 winners.

"Leo is fine", he told a news conference.

Goalkeeper Franco Armani will make his debut for Argentina as one of five changes for its must-win game against Nigeria at the World Cup.


Going into yesterday's final round of matches, a grand total of 60 players had registered themselves on the World Cup score sheet of this World Cup.

According to former Argentina national soccer teammate Pablo Zabaleta, the World Cup forward is "stressed and unhappy".

It is at worldwide level where his career has never quite his club exploits and why a potential exit tonight would haunt him forever.

A month on from Messi's rescue mission in Ecuador, he sat out a friendly as Nigeria beat Argentina 4-2 back in November to highlight how reliant even a squad containing Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala remain on their number 10.

"It is the most critical situation I have experienced, along with the Ecuador game", said Argentina's AC Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia on Sunday.


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