Argentina’s World Cup journey hasn’t started as planned, as the Albiceleste failed to beat the debutants Iceland in the opening match of Group D, but they will have a chance to make up for that mistake, as they are set to meet Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. Jorge Sampaoli’s team has failed impress during the qualification tournament, securing their spot in Russia only after the last qualifying match, and they’ve continued to struggle ever since. A disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland was only a confirmation the South American giants are going through a rough period, which is something Croatia could look to take advantage of. The Blazers who have qualified for the final tournament after the UEFA play-off have demonstrated excellent performance against Nigeria, defeating the African team by two goals to nil, and if they manage to avoid defeat against Argentina, they could come very close to advancing to the knockout stage. It will the second time in history these two sides play against each other at the World Cup and the first since 1998 when the Albiceleste defeated Croatia by one goal to nil.
An uninspiring display by Maximiliano Meza might open the door for Paulo Dybala who spent the whole match against Iceland sitting on the bench. On the other hand, Zlatko Dalic has decided to send Nikola Kalinic back to Zagreb, after AC Milan striker refused to come on off the bench in the final moments of the game against Super Eagles.
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