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Argentina players stage coup against Jorge Sampaoli before Nigeria clash

26 June 2018

Even a win may not be enough for Argentina, who are bottom of the group - behind Croatia (six points), Nigeria (three) and Iceland (one).

Messi missed a penalty against Iceland as Argentina drew 1-1 in their opening game in Russian Federation and then was then ineffective against Croatia as they were beaten 3-0 last Thursday.

Soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association said earlier on Friday it was trying to identify the fans, who were filmed fighting at Thursday's World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod.

Euro 2016 heroes Iceland can still dream of progress to the knockout rounds but they must beat Croatia and hope the other result goes their way.

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It was skipper Lionel Messi - often derided for his below-par performance with the national side - who came to the rescue with a hat-trick in the 3-1 win in the South American qualifiers.

Lionel Messi is frustrated and desperate to turn Argentina's World Cup around, according to Javier Mascherano.

The experienced Ever Banega and Angel Di Maria will start - after sitting out the Croatia game - offering the side the much-needed creativity, width and space.

After five days of soul-searching that has seen everyone from Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi's mother have their say on where it has gone wrong so far for their team, it was left to Jorge Sampaoli to put things in perspective on Monday. "I know that if you go into a game and you don't really enjoy it then it is very hard to play well". They see him winning trophies every season with Barcelona - so they expect him to do exactly the same in the national team. Nigeria are second with three points while Iceland and Argentina are tied with a point each.

"The way the match was structured against Croatia didn't suit Messi", the coach said.

There is no better opportunity than now for Argentina's players to step up and maybe create a legacy of their own.

Argentina players stage coup against Jorge Sampaoli before Nigeria clash