Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

'YES WE KAN' - Nwankwo Kanu confident Nigeria can shock Argentina

'YES WE KAN' - Nwankwo Kanu confident Nigeria can shock Argentina

However, Nigeria's inspiring 2-0 win over Iceland showed a tiny ray of hope amid dark-clouded criticisms to Argentina.

"I'm very good at breaking records and I'm happy now to be the top scorer at the World Cup for Nigeria".

And while bookmakers would be quick to emphasize the gulf in class, Argentina won the last of their two FIFA World Cup titles 32 years ago, and current form (determinable only by recent results) does not present Lionel Messi and company as unbeatable. In the group's other tie, Argentina and Nigeria will battle it out in what will be - barring an Iceland win - a "winner takes all" game.

And if Iceland, which is on par with Argentina in the group table, also manages to win their final fixture against Croatia, then Argentina will need a better goal difference to secure the second spot in the table. Against Barcelona in 2016, he scored a brace for CSKA Moscow in pre-season friendly.

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Nigeria's success also ensured a renewed window of opportunity for Argentina, who were hammered 3-0 by Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday, but now have a realistic chance to qualify if they beat the Africans on Tuesday. But we know we can do it.

Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Lucas Biglia trained separately from the rest of the squad in the gym as they recover from minor knocks.

Argentina's coach Jorge Sampaoli, who has had a poor year in charge and looked utterly despondent after the Croatia defeat insisting that he alone was to blame, must hope such stinging words finally fire up a reaction from his players.

It had been suggested that 1986 World Cup victor Jorge Burruchaga, the team's technical director, would replace Sampaoli, but the claims were strongly denied by the Argentina Football Association (AFA). Goalkeeper Willy Caballero could be dropped after his mistake allowed Ante Rebic to score, with River Plate stopper Franco Armani potentially coming into the team in his place.

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