Argentina have to advance says Sampaoli

May JohnsonJun 26, 2018

In the final matchday of Group D fixtures, Iceland take on Croatia in Rostov-on-Don, with the Nordic minnows given a slight hope of progression to the World Cup knock-out stages.

"We're expecting a very, very tough game and one that I know they're going to want to win", he added.

A win against Argentina will guarantee Nigeria a place in the second round. Even if Iceland claim a first ever World Cup win, Argentina could still progress on goal difference.

A team of five workers at Moscow's Altufyevo Confectionery worked for almost a week to carve the sculpture in 60 kg (132 lbs) of chocolate to mark the Argentina forward's 31st birthday on Sunday.

The Argentina federation were even moved on Saturday to confirm that Sampaoli would continue for the final group game among rumours of a rift between players and coach. "The question is not if it is the last World Cup for him or not, the question is for us to be qualified".

Jose Mourinho: Paul Pogba should not be given France’s victor against Australia
Although we ended up with 3 goals, there were frequent breaks in play. "I'm going away with 23 of my brothers, so we all get on well".

Iceland were defensively sound in qualification, only conceding seven goals - however, Croatia were responsible for two of those so they may just have the key to finding a way past the stout defence. There have been reports that coach Jorge Sampaoli has not only lost the dressing room, but that the players wanted him removed before their final game against Nigeria.

A chastening 3-0 defeat to Croatia in Group D last week made for grim reading in that regard for one of global football's heavyweight nations. Not only do they have Lionel Messi, who is easily one of the two most talented players in the world, they also have players like Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, and Gonzalo Higuain, some of the most expensive and lethal players in Europe.

Argentina fans have been livid over the performances of the national team in this tournament, with much of the wrath directed at Messi. They have a manager who likes to press teams, but a squad of players who don't press well. However, he said changes will be made to "generate energy" in the team and that Messi will be more involved than he was against Croatia, when the five-time world player of the year had 47 touches - fewer than Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

"I would never say to my team that we're playing for a draw". But the 1998 generation is a benchmark, we remember them fondly.

Australia used a 1-1 draw against Denmark to remain in contention for a spot in the round of 16, and Peru has already been eliminated.

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