Hernan Crespo wants Argentina to progress in World Cup prior to Nigeria challenge

Former Chelsea star Hernan Crespo believes Argentina should try and secure their progress to the last 16 of the World Cup prior to their final group stage game against Nigeria. Speaking to Championat.com, the Argentine admitted that his nation won’t have an easy game against the Super Eagles in Group D and he is hopeful of seeing them qualifying prior to the encounter.

He said: “In 1999, I played in Moscow in the final of the UEFA Cup. And in St. Petersburg for the first time. Today the weather is fine, and I really like that there are so many enthusiasts here who have such a passion for football. And I’m very glad to be here, to share joy with everyone. The match against Nigeria in Petersburg will be difficult, but we in Argentina hope that by this time we will qualify for the second round ahead of schedule. I would like to see Messi win the World Cup as part of the national team.”

Nigeria and Argentina have been pitted alongside each other in four of the previous five World Cups they have participated together and the current meeting would be the third occasion in many editions. As such, the South American heavyweights won’t be expecting an easy encounter with their African counterparts having only lost by a solitary goal in each of the previous four World Cup meetings.

Argentina have certainly had issues with their defensive side of their game over the past 24 months and this resulted in them only qualifying for the World Cup after their final qualifying match. As such, Jorge Sampaoli’s side don’t go into the World Cup with much confidence in the defensive front but they still possess the mesmerising attacking talents of Lionel Messi among others including Sergio Aguero who should score sufficient goals during the initial stages of the tournament.