Argentina Coach Alejandro Sabella has said that his charges will play the Super Eagles with humility when both continental giants clash in a World Cup Group F fixture on June 25.
The Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre will be the setting for the fourth World Cup duel between both sides with almost similar attacking style of football. The two-time World Cup winners from south America have defeated the current African kings in all three previous meetings at the Mundial.
At their first match-up at USA 1994, Diego Maradona inspired Los albi-celestes to a 2-1 win. At the next meeting at the 2002 edition in South Korea and Japan, Argentina defeated the Nigerians 1-0 while a similar 1-0 result was recorded at the last World Cup held in South Africa.
With a superior head-to-head advantage, the Lionel Messi-captained Argentines feel supremely confident of extending their winning run against the Nigerians, who they play in their last preliminary match. Their first comes up on June 16 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, followed by an Iranian tie on June 21.
Expectations are high in Argentina that Los albi-celestes would have wrapped up qualification to the second round before their final group game against Nigeria but speaking after unveiling his provisional World Cup squad during the week, Coach Sabella said he was taking nothing for granted just yet.
“The World Cup is not as simple as people think it is. All teams can prove difficult because the World Cup is the biggest stage that offers the best opportunity for all players. We may think we are in a relatively simple group but we must watch our back”, Sabella was quoted by Buenos Aries Herald.
Of the impressive record they have over the Super Eagles and how it will help their psyche going into the game on June 25, Sabella said “we will fight for Argentina’s third World Cup with honor and humility. Nigeria are a good side but we must be humble when we play them. We can’t afford to be arrogant”.