Maradona confident Argentina can qualify ahead of Nigeria

Maradona confident Argentina can qualify ahead of Nigeria

Nigerians rejoiced as the Super Eagles of Nigeria were drawn in Group D to play against Iceland, Croatia, and favorite rival, Argentina in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup scheduled to be held in Russian Federation.

In the draw held for the 32 competing nations in Moscow on Friday, Nigeria and Argentina were drawn together in Group D. The two countries first met in 1994 World Cup.

However, Argentina have come out tops the four times they have clashed with the West Africans at the World Cup - 2-1 (1994), 1-0 (2002), 1-0 (2010), 3-2 (2014).

Coach Gernot Rohr said what last month's win over Argentina has shown is that anything is possible with his young team.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will begin their 2018 World Cup campaign against Croatia on the 16 June.

It is the fifth time Nigeria will be pitched against the South Americans.

Nigeria's plan in qualifying from the Group next year could seek to imitate the plan from 2014.

A win in that game gives the Super Eagles one leg up on qualification, but a draw would not be the worst result, as long as they claim a win against Iceland in the second game.

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Unfortunately, Nigeria has lost all her previous games against Argentina the other teams in Group D with Nigeria are Iceland and Croatia.

Draw assistants were Laurent Blanc (1998 World Cup victor with France); Gordon Banks (goalkeeper of England's 1966 winning squad) and Cafu (two -time victor with Brazil).

Victor Ikpeba was quick to point out that Nigeria have beaten the Argentines when it has not really mattered and it would be best they get their points in their opening two group games against Croatia and Iceland before the final game against Argentina so that they could go past the first round in Russian Federation.

Federation Internationale de Football Association conducted the World Cup draw in Friday, not only setting groups, matchups and schedules but also creating a number of intriguing storylines. Boasting the continent's best player in Mohammed Salah and with the motivation of a first appearance at the global event in 28 years, they will have much confidence facing the main threat in Group A which will be Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani's Uruguay.

"This is because it could have been worse like the Morocco situation where the Africans have been pitted against the likes of Euro champions Portugal and Spain".

Group G consists of Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England, just as Poland face Senegal, Colombia, and Japan in Group H. For Nigeria, attention will heighten on players who are performing best for their clubs.

Perhaps with the exception of Vincent Enyeama; knowing how well he has performed against Lionel Messi at the 2010 and 2014 meets, nearly being singularly responsible for keeping the score margins at not more than one goal deficits, should he be recalled to the squad?

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