World Cup: Nigeria v Argentina

World Cup: Nigeria v Argentina With one nation finally flying in the FIFA World Cup and one nation looking at an unlikely exit, Nigeria and Argentina come into this crucial group stage tie with totally differing expectations. Seen as a team that would exit the World Cup without much issue, Nigeria now know they are a win away from going to the World Cup knockout rounds.

If Argentina want to get to the knockouts they need to produce a performance totally out of kilter with what they have produced so far.

Nigeria News

The Super Eagles come into this one knowing that they need to produce something special. Despite Argentina not playing well, Nigeria play such an open style that they’ll need to be fluid up front and solid at the back.

With the likes of Ahmed Musa, who has history of playing well against Argentina, they know they have the pace to trouble a very poor Argentina back-line. However, their naivety at the back and their willingness to pour forward in numbers will have to be kept in check.

Argentina News

Argentina, meanwhile, need to find something. The constantly changing line-ups and formations, mixed with a national side that simply does not look like an Argentina side means that they need to locate a winning formula to get through.

Coach Jorge Sampaoli has struggled, though, struggles to find any kind of consistency. He’s never named the same line-up as Argentina coach. With Lionel Messi looking pretty haunted, it will be interesting to see how they get it together for what is to come.

Verdict

We reckon Argentina will find a way – but it’s merely papering over the cracks. They’ll likely not find a winning formula for the rest of the tournament, and progression here will merely delay what is an inevitable exit.

 

Argentina to win   1/2

4.45 Ayr, Monday, June 18

4.45 Ayr, Monday, June 18 It’s a long way, literally and figuratively, from Ayr on Monday to Ascot on Tuesday, but Ingleby Hollow has returned from an abortive spell over hurdles earlier in the year in decent form and may be capable of giving us some ammunition for bigger, better events later in the week. The Ayrshire Cancer Support Here To Help Handicap (4.45) shouldn’t take a great deal of winning, with the redoubtable, but ten-year-old, Wor Lass apparently the pick of the opposition.

 

Although he’s been raised 3lb for finishing second at Doncaster last month, Ingleby Hollow should be suited by stepping back to 1 mile 5 furlongs and is reunited with Daniel Tudhope, who won on him on his penultimate start. The form of that win has been franked by the second, Allfredandnobell, who won over hurdles at Cartmel next time, while his Doncaster conqueror Framley Garth followed up, off a 6lb higher mark, in a 0-80 contest at York last Friday. In fact, the Doncaster race has worked out very well indeed, with the third, Weather Front, also winning next time.

Consequently, the weight rise looks more than justified and, with winning form on going ranging from the prevailing good to firm to soft, Ingleby Hollow should give us a run for our money whatever the weather in South Ayrshire. All of his opponents are fully exposed and trainer David O’Meara appears to have found him an excellent ooportunity to regain the winning thread.

Selection: Ayr 4.45 Ingleby Hollow to win 5/2