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Zabaleta: Argentina Must Turn Up Against Strong Nigeria; Sampaoli Is Clueless

Zabaleta: Argentina Must Turn Up Against Strong Nigeria; Sampaoli Is Clueless

By James Agberebi:
Former Argentina and Manchester City star Pablo Zabaleta has urged the Albiceleste to come up with their A game against a strong Super Eagles side ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Group D 2018 FIFA World Cup clash in Saint Petersburg.
Argentina have been very poor so far at this summer’s World Cup as they are currently bottom of Group D with just one point from two matches.
They were held to a surprise 1-1 draw against Iceland before suffering a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Croatia.
However, they can still progress into the round of 16 provided they beat the Super Eagles and Iceland fail to secure a heavy win against Croatia.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Zabaleta said the two-time World Cup winners are still in with a shout.
“We still have a chance though,” Zabaleta said.
“Nigeria is a strong team but the players need to turn up. With the quality we have up front you expect us to score goals.”
He however berated head coach Jorge Sampaoli for the team’s poor performance, labelling him clueless.
“Jorge Sampaoli has made mistakes in selections. In the game against Iceland it wasn’t a great game. He played four at the back with two defensive midfielders against a side who defended the whole game behind the ball,” he added.

“We lacked creativity around Messi in the 18 yard box: the transition from back to front is too slow sometimes. Against Croatia we switched to three at the back; new players, new formations. The manager doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
  • Samuel 5 months ago

    Please guys,we need to pray and fast tomorrow because of this match. Are you a christian or a muslim? Please I beg you in the name of God almighty to observe a day fasting and prayer tomorrow for the Super Eagle of Nigeria to triumph against these dreadly goliaths called Argentina. We’ve already met them 4X at the world cup and we lost 4X but I believe with God all things are possible. We cannot afford to lose this match I beg you in the name of God. Thank you.

  • Chris 5 months ago

    Pls let him remain clueless until after our match against Argentina mbok. I can’t shout ooo

  • ubest 5 months ago

    Let Super Eagle try and score first, no room for mistakes when attacking & defending, we should play to win but if happen to be draw at least let score goals in case Iceland & Croatia decided to play brotherly love match.

  • Samuel 5 months ago

    The match will end 3: 1

  • Let his clueless continue for now please oo

  • femi Ajimuda 5 months ago

    This is the game to determine whether we are men or boys. It will be a total scenario to what we experienced with Iceland. Argentina are ball jugglers, ball holders cum shielders. Can be hard (it will be what Germany played against Sweden because they didn’t want to lose and go home early).
    So we should expect a highly tactical and hard game from them. Our boys should be mobile. Should move towards the ball when its passed to them. should always play into space and not stay behind their opponents. Should play a one touch game or else we’ll be asking for unnecessary injuries.
    We should keep their ochestrator (Messi) quiet. Deny him space to operate. Deny him ball to play. We must harangue them – HIGH PRESS – defending from point at which we lose the ball (the way Iceland played us or the way Sanchez former Arsenal player harasses opponents.
    I believe we’ll carry the day by God’s grace.

  • matsho 5 months ago

    Abeg leave this Sampaoli alone to remain clueless till after we have defeated them tomorrow.

  • Presh 5 months ago

    Don’t foul Messi close to our goal post,he wants to score free kick. Smartness.

  • Abdul andah 5 months ago

    Nigerians shall rejoice comes tomorrow in Sha A Allah after the match.

  • Jonathan Femi 5 months ago

    In 2014 we played well but at the end of 90mins we lost the match 3 goals to 2. I think tomorrow super Eagles should do exactly what Eagles are known for, I mean focus and sharpness so we can truly call them superior Eagles. 

  • Edoman of New Jerdey, USA 5 months ago

    Nigeria should make sure they have a cool head in the box. Messi is ever ready to take advantage in the box and the areas within. No Shehu and Ighalo please. Balogun should start fast immediately. Use your head and not emotion in dealing with Messi and the others most of the time. Moses is very dependable so also are Mikel, and Musa the great. Ekong, please don’t repeat that silly holding you made in Croatia match. That is why Messi is still relevant for Argentina, that is to take an advantage of such silly mistakes players do make. God Bless you all.

  • Nigeria players should be very careful too. Look at what VAR did to lordthe African teams today? It seems African teams is at the receiving end. Anyway, by God’s grace we shall defeat Argentina this time around. Afflictions shall not rise again says the lord.