Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli denies rumours of player feud

After setting off on March 12 from Bandar Abbas in southern Iran Francis finally arrived in Moscow on June 25- 105 days later

After setting off on March 12 from Bandar Abbas in southern Iran Francis finally arrived in Moscow on June 25- 105 days later

Messi missed a penalty in his country's opening 1-1 draw against Iceland in Group D and cut an increasingly forlorn figure as they unravelled to 3-0 defeat against Croatia last week.

The 33-year-old Portuguese player gained some more points in the Messi vs Ronaldo debate when he scored a victor against Morocco and Messi failed to live up to the exceptions once again as Croatia defeated Argentina 3-0.

Iceland have made three changes, with Jon Bordvarsson being left on the bench to leave Alfred Finnbogason as a lone striker in front of a five-man midfield.

To progress, Argentina must win their final group match against Nigeria and then hope Iceland doesn't win their final game against Croatia.

If Argentina has any shot, it will fall to Messi. A draw may also be enough for Nigeria depending on the outcome of Iceland's match against Croatia.

He has only scored in two World Cups (2006 and 2014) and was guilty of not converting a palpable chance in the last final in Brazil that would have won his country the trophy for the first time in 28 years.

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli went with a formation consisting of four at the back against Iceland, but chose to change that to three at the back as they took on Croatia.

Argentines support Nigeria in bars, streets... and even on a plane!
Iceland got a lifeline in the 82nd minute with a VAR-awarded penalty but dead-ball specialist Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed over the bar.

Javier Mascherano has confirmed a players' meeting with the beleaguered coach in recent days but, with Sampaoli bearing the brunt of the criticism in Argentina, the former Chile and Sevilla coach delivered a blunt riposte to his critics who, he claimed, live in the "virtual world".

"We know the scenario when we play Croatia - it's (always) going to be really tough games", Hallgrimsson told mediapersons.

Angel Di Maria returns to the team to offer more width in attack while Ever Banega will look to ease the creative burden placed on Lionel Messi.

Diego Maradona's "second coming" as coach of the national team got off to an encouraging start at the 2010 event in South Africa, winning all three group matches against Nigeria, South Korea and Greece. "We want to make amends for that loss", he said.

"But, we have to take care because we have some players on yellow cards, so I will change the line-up".

"The week was hard after the defeat, it means we depend on a result".

Argentina are under pressure after two poor performances and staring at their first group stage exit since the dark days of 2002.

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