Argentina vs Croatia | 21 Jun 2018

21 Juin, 2018, 12:20 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion

With Ever Banega starting on the bench against Iceland, Argentina put in an insipid display for most of the first half and were able to pressure only late in the second half after he came on.

Conversely, five-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi missed a penalty as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland in their first outing.

"When he scores, all Argentines celebrate, so when he misses, we can't jump on him alone, that's too easy a way to think".

"When he has two or three opponents trying to block him, somewhere on the pitch a teammate is free, as happened against Iceland".

It is unclear whether Argentina's fans will listen to Sampaoli, who also finds himself under pressure due to an underwhelming year in charge of a country that has a magnificent pool of talent to choose from.

Sampaoli's choice of formation has been questioned, with many unsure about his use of three central defenders.

Argentina already feel they have a long way to go in repeating the feats of the 2014 World Cup after a disappointing start to their campaign in Russian Federation.

ARGENTINA take on Croatia in their second World Cup 2018 outing tomorrow - but who will start for Jorge Sampaoli's side?

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That may not be the case against Argentina and Dalic will be expected to take full advantage of his side's midfield superiority over the two-time world champions by playing Milan Badelj in the holding role. These issues need to be sorted out if they want to run deep in this World Cup.

Argentina Predicted Team Caballero; Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Salvio, Mascherano, Meza, Acuna; Messi, Aguero, Pavon. "You made a mistake, I made a mistake, we all made a mistake".

"It's a attractive thing to play against one of the best teams in the world".

Argentina has Messi, sure, the player Dalic and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic both referred to as the best in the world. Messi is one of the best players in the world. The forced absence of Kalinic leaves Mario Madzukic as the only recognised striker in the Croatian camp, which means he will start against Argentina and in nearly all games that Croatia play.

"They are different. Their contexts are different", he said. "There's no one more determined than us to qualify, to win and to do things well".

"He's a national hero, as Diego was".

Argentina are rallying around captain Lionel Messi as the South American giants prepare for their crucial Group D clash with Croatia here on Thursday.

The Reds defender helped his home nation beat Nigeria 2-0 in their opening game of the tournament in Russian Federation and is in confident mood ahead of the clash.

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