Striking sensations Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala have got the nod from Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli to lead his attack against Nigeria in their friendly affair in Krasnodar, Russia, on Tuesday.
Both teams have met seven times with the South American powerhouse running out winners five times. The Super Eagles beat an under-strength La Albiceleste 4-1 in a friendly in Abuja in 2011.
After helping Argentina secure a World Cup berth, Sampaoli, who experimented with Manchester City forward Aguero leading the line and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi the second striker in a 3-3-3-1 formation in the 1-0 defeat of Russia at Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday, has opted for another experiment against Nigeria.
Reports in the Argentine press on Monday said Sampaoli, who guided Chile to the Copa America triumph in 2015, had decided to play Dybala behind Aguero this time round.
The former Sevilla manager will stick to the 3-3-3-1 formation in an attempt to pen the Eagles back in their half and attack the from the flanks.
According to Clarín Deportes, Sampaoli will make five changes to the team that beat Russia. Messi had earlier been ruled out of the game. First choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was in goal on Saturday, will be dropped to the bench, with his understudy Agustin Marchesín grabbing a rare starting role against Nigeria.
PSG winger Angel Di María may be rested with Roma’s Diego Perotti taking his place.
Javier Mascherano, Germán Pezzella and Nicolas Otamendi are set to retain their spots in the defence with Ever Banega on the right, Matias Kranevitter in the centre and Giovani Lo Celso on the left of the midfield.
Meanwhile, former Nigeria winger Emmanuel Amuneke has urged the Eagles play the match against Argentina like a cup final.
“It is one match the Eagles should pay attention to all details because aside from national pride, it is one game that gives you a clear picture of what to expect during the World Cup,” scorenigeria.com quoted the former Barcelona player vas saying on Monday.
He added, “It doesn’t matter who wins. It doesn’t matter who scores. What is important is for the Eagles to understand the South Americans’ style of play.
“South American teams always pose a threat to us, especially at the senior level and I think despite Argentina’s collection of individual quality players, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr should use the match to understand them, which is same as other South American teams, as a guide going into the World Cup.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]