Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Sideshow Bob

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#1


Saturday, 16th June 2018
Argentina v Iceland, 14:00
Croatia v Nigeria, 20:00

Thursday, 21st June 2018
Argentina v Croatia, 19:00

Friday, 22nd June 2018
Nigeria v Iceland, 16:00

Tuesday, 26th June 2018
Iceland v Croatia, 19:00
Nigeria v Argentina, 19:00​
 
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#2
God I'd love it if Nigeria and Croatia made it out of this group.

I'm actually secretly rooting for Croatia because I'll be in Croatia for the final. I mean I know it's a long shot but hey could be great.
 

kef2138

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#4
Iceland fails to disappoint. They draw level 4 minutes after Aguero opens the score. Can they repeat their feat at the Euros?))
 

IDFD

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#5
To come back immediately after going behind was crucial. If they'd had to spend ages coming forwards at Argentina then they'd have spent time getting torn apart and caught out but now they've been able to revert to their defensive shape.
 

kef2138

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#6
I think the game is Argentina's to lose. Iceland's game plan is clearly to play long balls and try to catch the opponent on the counter. If Argentina can keep it's defensive mistakes at a minimum, they should win this as they've clearly dominated the first half.
 

IDFD

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#7
Messi will have a moment of magic at some point.

I've got

Argentina
Messi to score
Over 2.5 goals
Over 8 corners.

So just want that moment of magic from Messi and 3 corners in the second half.
 

kef2138

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#8
Messi will have a moment of magic at some point.

I've got

Argentina
Messi to score
Over 2.5 goals
Over 8 corners.

So just want that moment of magic from Messi and 3 corners in the second half.
Well, he's completely squandered one. Really poor penalty; good save from the Iceland keeper.
 

IDFD

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#9
Messi has a mare. 11 shots he took today. Tried to do everything alone. Wonder if Ronaldo’s Hatrick left him wanting to prove a point instead of play his more usual game.
 

kef2138

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#10
So it's 1-1 at full time. Does the draw still qualify as a surprise?))

Heroic defending by Iceland and sloppy play from Argentina. And yet it was still entertaining to watch.
 

jsp

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#11
Messi has a mare. 11 shots he took today. Tried to do everything alone. Wonder if Ronaldo’s Hatrick left him wanting to prove a point instead of play his more usual game.
Think that’s just how he plays in the national team doesn’t trust his team mates so just tries to do it on his own.
 

kef2138

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#12
Croatia humiliates Argentina tonight. They scored the third as I was writing this. Argentina has lacked vision, desire and imagination. Abysmal display.
 

JSNFRMN

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#13
Messi was rubbing his forehead during the anthem, looked a man that had the weight of the world on his head and didn't really want to be there, he sort of woke up a bit when it went 1-0 but nothing after and walked off in a huff without shaking hands with Croatians at full time.

The discussion as to who the best is will rumble on but it's clear that Ronaldo is the better captain and relishes that pressure from his nation and can carry his team. Portugal have better players throughout the pitch than Argentina but you'd still expect a lot more from Messi than he's shown in the last 2 games and most international tournaments. He's a player moulded in the Barca way and perhaps he's just not capable of playing like that for Argentina. I never saw Maradona play but you hear of him carrying teams to success like Napoli and Argentina.
 

IDFD

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#14
I can’t agree that Portugal have the better players.

Would Argentina be better without Messi? Strange question I know but they’ve got Higuain Dybala Icardi Aguero Di Maria they aren’t short of attacking talent but any time anyone is on the ball they pass to Messi and hope he can do something. They’re genuinely top class players who seem to forget they can actually play football when Messi is on the pitch with them.
 

Mr C

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#15
You can't compare both players over two games. They are both outstanding.
As for Aregentina I can't remember the exact number but they said something like 5 coaches, 50 odd players over the qualifying campaign and never fielding the same 11. It sounds like a complete mess behind the scenes. Those players are much better than they are performing so something is wrong.

What Otamendi did was disgusting, should have been sent off.
 
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#17
I didn’t see the Argentina match but I am surprised how toothless they are. They have so many great attacking players but guess their defence and midfield are powderpuff.

I can see Messi retiring after the tournament, there is so much weight of expectation with him playing. The other players seem like they have to pass to him to make something happen, instead of taking on the responsibility themselves. It’s a big call but maybe in the long run it may be good for them if Messi was out of the picture.

On the other hand Croatia look a team for sure, they will be a match for anyone in the knockouts judging by the tournament so far.
 

Mr C

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#18
They literally had no midfield, there were defenders, huge gap, forwards. Modrics goal, he was basically left on his own all build up. No one around him. Goalie should have saved it too. But I guess after his massive cock up for goal 1 he was nervous.
 
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#19
I didn’t see the Argentina match but I am surprised how toothless they are. They have so many great attacking players but guess their defence and midfield are powderpuff.
They showed after the game, which of course you won't have seen, that by the end they had a 5 man defense and 5 man attack. There was no midfield and so they had nobody to feed the ball to those attacking players.

Now I think the biggest issue is the coach. I mean Banega is a really good midfield player who could feed the attack yet he remained on the bench.

I can see Messi retiring after the tournament, there is so much weight of expectation with him playing.
You mean retire again? He throws his toys out the pram with Argentina so often its a joke.
 

jsp

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#20
I think it's best for everyone if he retires he won't have to put up with being expected to carry a team and they won't be able to expect him to carry him.

The coach isn't the problem it's the FA they picked a manager who's system didn't fit the players they have he tried to get them to play his way it wasn't working so before the world cup he had to change his entire playing style to try and come up with a new system that did work.

Argentina remind me a bit of the Dutch currently they've squeezed every last drop out of a good generation of players but these players are gone now and the players coming through just aren't as good.

Tim Vickery pointed out the other day Argentina have not produced a world class defender in 20 years the last truely great Argentina defender was Ayala who retired in 2006 nothing has happened since. In central midfield they're producing nothing either Mascherano is in his 30's now and because they need to drop Messi back they can't really fit Banega in and he's not been a reliable player for the national team either. Mascherano came through in the mid 00's but since then they've had nothing.

It seems clear that in Argentina clubs are focusing on producing number 10's and strikers in their academy system what they aren't producing are good defenders and robust central midfield players that allow the number 10's and strikers to function. The reason for that is probably because every young player wants to be an attacking player now but also these attacking players can be sold for a lot more money than a solid reliable centre back or centre mid.
 

jsp

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#21
HALF TIME SCORES

Croatia 0-0 Iceland
Nigeria 0-1 Argentina

Messi with a nice finish one vs one

As it stands Argentina going through in 2nd place
 

jsp

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#23
Croatia 1-0 Iceland
Argentina 1-1 Nigeria

As it stands Nigeria going through with Croatia.
 
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#24
1-1 in both games.

Think Iceland need two more if no other goal in the other tie. Could be an exciting last 11 minutes in both games as Argentina need to go for it.
 

jsp

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#28
1st Croatia 9 pts
2nd Argentina 4 pts
3rd Nigeria 3 pts
4th Iceland 1 pts

Argentina scrape through so so lucky
 
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#30
Gutted. Absolutely gutted. I can't stand Argentina and I can't stand Messi.
Yeah I concur. Really don’t like them and don’t particularly like Messi. I appreciate he is absolute class but he’s one of those people that I don’t like.

Anyone else think it was Aguero scoring that goal for Argentina? Then when I saw it was Rojo, I was like whaaaaaaa?
 

Mr C

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#31
Great goal by Rojo, but what was he doing with that header? not even looking, that shoul dhve been a penalty for me. And in the lead up to the goal, did you see his miskick pass :)

Great finish though
 

jsp

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#32
I reckon Messi carries the same sort of ego as any top player these days but because he's not particularly out spoken or craves attention it isn't as obvious as it is with Ronaldo or Neymar but I bet he's a nightmare to deal with and many manager has lost a job because he's upset Lionel.

Banega was brilliant for Argentina last night such a talented player just a shame he can't ever seem to find the consistency a top player needs.

They looked a much better balanced side going forward last night but I still think a top side would pull them apart at the back Nigeria had good chances to counter them but just made the wrong choices.
 

Red Warrior

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#33
I used to like Rojo. God damn him for score that peach. Messi would have been proud of that himself.

I hope the French absolutely embarrass them. I've still not forgiven them for 86 and 98.
 
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#34
Yeah I concur. Really don’t like them and don’t particularly like Messi. I appreciate he is absolute class but he’s one of those people that I don’t like.
Yeah he's a class player no doubt but I don't like him at all. And I don't like the golden boy angel look he's given by the media.
 
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