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Nigeria-Argentina: Sampaoli notebook offers selection clues

AS's cameras snapped what appear to be Jorge Sampaoli's selection plans for Argentina's must-win Group D clash with Nigeria on Tuesday.

Nigeria-Argentina: Sampaoli notebook offers selection clues

Jorge Sampaoli put his Argentina charges through their paces today as they prepare for their crunch final World Cup Group D fixture against Nigeria on Tuesday - a game which, in the wake of the Super Eagles' win over Iceland, the Albiceleste head into with a place in the last 16 still well within reach.

Related reading: What Argentina need to do to qualify

Sampaoli's notes potentially reveal nine of his XI to play Nigeria

And during the session at the team's Bronnitsy base, AS's cameras captured the above image of the under-fire Argentina boss's notebook, on which he appears to have designed training drills involving two teams of seven, with Lionel Messi and Éver Banega seemingly circled as wildcards operating on both sides.

One group of seven has the look of being part of a potential line-up: Eduardo Salvio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolás Tagliafico, Javier Mascherano, Ángel Di María, Gonzalo Higuaín and Enzo Pérez. If Messi and Banega are added to that septet, the only unidentified members of the XI would be the goalkeeper and one other outfield player.

The other training team put together by Sampaoli was Cristian Ansaldi, Federico Fazio, Giovani Lo Celso, Maximiliano Meza, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Pavón and Sergio Agüero. Though its attackers boast sufficient quality to be possible starters against Nigeria, the group's first three players have not featured at all in Russia.

Argentina must beat Nigeria to have a hope of qualifying

With a few days still to go until the must-win encounter in Saint Petersburg, Sampaoli is sure to continue mulling over his selection decisions a good deal further, as he looks for ways to counteract the physical prowess of the Nigerians' midfield and stifle the attacking threat that the Africans pose on the break.


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