Argentina v Nigeria Best Odds, Tips and Recommendations

11th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

Maradona Charged With Unlocking Messi Mystery

It has been almost sixteen years to the very day, since Diego Maradona last pulled on his country’s jersey. Ironically that final match was a group stage game against Nigeria, the team against which he will begin his fledging World Cup management career. Want stats? It was on June 25th, 2004 in Boston, and Argentina won 2-1 that Maradona last played for his country. Now, however long it may last, Maradona’s tenure as head coach of the passionate Argentineans, will be under close scrutiny at South Africa 2010. Wherever Maradona goes, controversy is sure to follow, from the “Hand of God” to lewd outbursts, he is a character that will draw the press to him like a magnet. Perhaps the time has come to wipe the slate clean of the much publicised troubles that the star studded Argentineans had in the South American qualification zone. The fact of the matter is, they are at the World Cup, they were drawn in an easy group, and they have been in the top four of World Cup Odds on the outright winner market before even the draw was made. There is enormous pressure on particular head coaches, and the Argentina coach has a lot to bear. The fans are expectant and do not like living in the shadow of Brazil. Now they want their World Cup legend to inject a little more magic once again.

Pundits, tipsters and the armchair fans are completely divided about Argentina though. They boast a mightily talented side, with arguably the World’s best player, Lionel Messi in their ranks. The trouble is, much like the beleaguered French under Raymond Domenech, Argentina do not have a firm identity. You know what to expect when Brazil turn up to a match. You know what kind of performance you will get from Spain. But Argentina is something of an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum. A lot of the underlying problems with the South Americans can be highlighted in Lionel Messi. Messi has had his critics about him not performing as well for his country as he does his club, Barcelona. But it is not Messi’s failing, it is knowing how to use him properly in the side. Barcelona stroke the ball around, and play zonal positioning, so it is easy to get the ball to him. Argentina do not play the same way, and the ball does not get to Messi as much, and in some degrees, it is a step down for the superstar. Put it this way, if Barcelona with Messi in the side played Argentina with Messi in the side, who would you back to win? That is the puzzle for Maradona to solve.

Can Nigeria Withstand An Unstructured Attack?

Incidentally, this fixture was the Olympic Final in 2008 if anyone remembers that? Argentina won that match up with a fair crop of the players in the squad today, and so Nigeria may be out for revenge. The Super Eagles are coached by Swede Lars Lagerback, and they were not without their own problems during qualifying for the world cup. They do not have great history against La Albiceleste, and they are still looking a defensive formation which will plug the obvious holes they have at the back. Their back line could have a torrid time on Saturday, with Vincent Enyeama needing to stand strong in goal behind them, as “The Cat” he has been one of the most consistent presences in the side. Nigeria will be strong and physical, but as showed at the African Cup of Nations, they have fallen behind somewhat in the ladder of power in African football. Nigeria could be in for a torrid World Cup, and may struggle to compete for second spot. They have not looked too organised or strong during their build up, and even a directionless Argentina should be able to pull them apart.

Argentina have the talent, but do they have the right coach? Between Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez, there was 83 domestic goals this season. As said, the talent is not in question. But coach Maradona has been confused, using a staggering amount of personnel in his squads, suggesting that he doesn’t really know what his best side is. He literally came out and said as much, stating how confused and how many headaches he was having over selecting his final squad. The side he is taking with him, would make a lot of other nations envious, but as was seen with France’s opener against Uruguay, there needs to be a stern game plan and tactics in place, or things cannot work. France lost shape and became sloppy after getting frustrated in not breaking their opposition down. The strength in World Cup Odds with bookmakers suggests that there is something more to come from Argentina. But can the slate simply be wiped clean that easy? Can a team which has not clicked before, suddenly flick a switch and become as strong as the Spaniards or the Brazilians? It’s down for your betting strategy to decide.

Argentina v Nigeria Betting Odds and Stats

Last 5 Matches
Argentina 5, Canada 0
Germany 0, Argentina 1
Argentina 2, Jamaica 1
Argentina 3, Costa Rica 2
Spain 2, Argentina 1

Nigeria 3, Korea DPR 1
Nigeria 1, Colombia 1
Nigeria 1, Algeria 0
Ghana 1, Nigeria 0
Nigeria 0, Zambia 0

Last 5 Match Goals
Argentina: 12 For, 5 Against
Nigeria: 5 For, 3 Against

Recent Stats
Argentina: P50, W29, D10, L11 with a 58.0% win percentage
Nigeria: P24, W7, D8, L9 with a 29.2% win percentage

Last 10 Match Form

World Cup Stats
Argentina: P65, W33, D13, L19, GF113, GA74
Nigeria: P11, W4, D1, L6, GF14, GA16

Match Odds
Argentina to win: 1/2 at Boylesports
Draw: 7/2 at BetFred
Nigeria to win: 15/2 at Coral

Asian Handicap Betting Tip: Well, there seems to be only one way to go on this one, and that is taking a Nigeria plus handicap. It will just be down to the degree of how badly you think they may do. For example, Nigeria +1.75 is a decent 1/2 at Bet365, but you can get a little more profit out of Nigeria +1.25 at 19/20 at Bet365 also, which is a pretty decent bet.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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