Nigeria has provided a helping hand to the sinking Argentine ship by hammering Iceland 2-0 to blow the competition for the knock-out stages in group D wide open.
The super eagles were in scintillating form in the 2nd half and put the recently famed Icelandic defense to the sword during the 2nd half of the game. Ahmed Musa was the hero for Nigeria as the forward grabbed the winning goals and kept Argentine World Cup hopes alive.
Now what is of paramount importance to Argentina is to beat Nigeria in what promises to be a cracker of a game.
But beating Nigeria is easier said than done. The Nigerians will be brimming with confidence heading into the game and Leo Messi and company need to be wary of that threat.
So here are 3 things which Argentina needs to do against Nigeria.
#3 Accommodate Dybala in the starting eleven
Despite all the attacking riches Argentina has, their midfield has a dearth of pace and creativity. No one in the Argentine midfield seems capable to generate line breaking passes and move the ball swiftly in the opposition half.
For that specific reason, Lionel Messi usually drops deep in midfield and carries the ball forward for his national team. But when Messi didn't drop much in midfield in the game against Croatia, the result was horrendous to say the least.
One thing that goes against playing Dybala in the starting eleven is that his playing style is similar to that of Messi.
While it seems a plausible reason, there is a shortage of quality in the Argentine midfield which is only compensated by Messi since the likes of Enzo Perez and Lucas Biglia provide zero or no creativity to the midfield. This leads to opposition teams heavily marking Messi in order to nullify the Argentine threat.
Although Dybala's playing style is quite similar to that of Messi, he can be accommodated in the starting lineup by playing a 4-2-3-1 with Dybala playing in number 10 position and Messi playing down the right wing as an inverted winger.
In this manner, the creative burden will be less on Messi and even if he drops deep in the midfield, Dybala will be there in the final third to maintain consistent threat in and around the opposition penalty area.