World Cup Soccer Betting: Nigeria vs. Argentina

World Cup Soccer Betting:  Nigeria vs. Argentina

Wednesday World Cup soccer betting action features a Group F matchup between Argentina and Nigeria. Argentina has already secured a spot in the knockout stage owing more to the overall weakness of the group than inspired play. Nigeria is still alive for advancement and looks to be the better team than either Iran or Bosnia-Herzegovina. In fact, Nigeria is still alive to win the group–all they need is a victory over an Argentina team that has yet to bring their ‘A game’.

Basketball is popular in Argentina so maybe the country’s soccer team are fans of the NBA runner up Miami Heat. They’re definitely taking a page out of the Heat playbook by ‘phoning in’ their performances against overmatched teams. Argentina is ranked #5 in the FIFA World standings but in two games against the weakest teams in this group haven’t looked like it. They opened the competition with a 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and followed that up with a 1-0 victory over Iran. In both cases they were facing teams they should have obliterated. Maybe they’re pacing themselves but apropos of the Miami Heat comparison it’s very dangerous to think that your team is so talented that they can ‘turn it on and off’ at will. The lackluster performances in the first two games didn’t do anything for their goal differential which is the primary tie breaker in group play.

The fact that Nigeria is still in a position to win this group underscores a) the overall weakness of the group and b) the lackluster play of Argentina. Nigeria has scored 1 goal in two games but to their credit they haven’t allowed any. That’s almost certain to change against a potent Argentina attack. Nigeria opened the competition with a scoreless draw against Iran and followed that up with a 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the Bosnia game Nigeria got an assist from the referee who waved off what appeared to be a legally scored game tying goal.

Argentina does have at least some tenuous motivation here and they’re just so much more talented than Nigeria. Nigeria could play defensively hoping for a draw but that’s unlikely to slow a vastly superior opponent.