Russian 2018: About 100 million to watch Nigeria-Argentina crucial match
Confidence reportedly high among the players (FIFA)
London, June 26, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Group D of the 2018 Russia World Cup, dubbed the group of death is living up to expectation. Aside Croatia, already qualified with six points, any of the other three members of the group, Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina could still qualify depending on outcome of today’s match.
Exclusive data obtained by Alternativeafrika.com shows that about 100 million football lovers are expected to watch today’s “do-or-die” encounter between Super Eagles of Nigeria and Argentine national team across the globe making it the most important game of the first round qualification so far.
The huge interest in the game is also felt by the betting shops as around $1 billion has already been staked on the game according to data exclusively obtained by Alternativeafrika.com from a leading betting shop in London.
A manager with Bet365 in London said “there is a huge interest in this game across the globe and we are already seeing that in terms of stake. Every agency offering different stake but there’s a massive odds on Argentina beating Nigeria. What is at stake is huge so also is the prize money. As at the last count, this game has generated over $1 billion. That’s how important it the game”
Argentina will be firmly hoping history is on their side in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. Having been backed into a corner after dropping points in their first two games, their FIFA World Cup™ record against Nigeria may be their last remaining crumb of comfort. This will be their fifth encounter, having won all four up to now.
Nigeria on the other hand will arrive intent on getting that persistent monkey off their back, as a win would guarantee their spot in the last 16 for a fourth time. They will be buoyed after seeing Croatia’s dominant display against the disjointed two-time winners, while having themselves seen off Iceland 2-0.
The fallout from Argentina’s defeat potentially promises plenty of changes to their line-up, while Ahmed Musa will be pushing for a starting berth after his two-goal showing against the debutants
Annette Braun, FIFA team reporter with Nigeria described the importance of the match “It will be interesting to see how this young Nigerian team handles their nerves in a game that Musa has described as “do-or-die”. The victory against Iceland has boosted confidence throughout the team, which now strongly believes it can advance. The only question is whether Gernot Rohr will opt to face the immense attacking quality of Argentina with a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-5-2 formation.
The Super Eagles produced a shock win to claim three points over Iceland as Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa struck twice.
Gernot Rohride boys now control their own fate in the competition knowing even a draw could see them advance through to the knockout stages.
Three points would see Nigeria advance and just a point could be required if Iceland were to defeat Croatia.
Then a +2 goal difference would have to be turned round by Iceland on the African nation to prevent the Super Eagles from reaching the Round of 16.
Meanwhile, the 2014 finalists are on the brink of elimination with a win and Croatia beating Iceland required for them to keep their hopes alive.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side have endured a miserable time in Russia, having been held by Iceland to a 1-1 draw and losing 3-0 to Croatia.