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World Cup Day 12 Preview

Eugene FogartyContributor IJune 11, 2016

Group A






(both 7:30pm)

Any two of the four teams comprising Group B can still qualify for the second round but Argentina appear to be confident enough of their progression that Diego Maradona might even ring the changes for his sides game with Greece.

Javier Mascherano, Walter Samuel, and Jonas Guttierez are all certain to miss out. The latter is suspended, the former is on yellow and won't be risked and Samuel is injured for the game. Carlos Tevez and tournament top scorer Gonzalo Higuain are also expected to be replaced by Sergio Aguero and Diego Milito as el Diego does his best to keep all his superstars happy.

One superstar forward set to play is Leo Messi, who has been the orchestrator of everything positive Argentina have done thus far. Their two victories would not have been so emphatic without him.

Even a draw will give the Argies top spot and a potential second round clash with Mexico in a repeat of four years ago, but a victory seems more likely against a Greek team that will probably need a win to progress. A lot of space should therefore be handed to Argentina's attacking quartet of the aforementioned three and Angel di Maria.

Greece did well to turn around the game with Nigeria, scoring their first World Cup goals and pints in the process. The sending off clearly helped their cause and raised their spirits but taking the game to the opposition has never been a strength of Otto Rehhagel's team. They will be delighted to even have this opportunity and if they can pull off a victory their place in the last 16 will be well deserved.  

That position should go to South Korea though. The performed with a pace and intent that neither Greece nor Nigeria have shown when they beat Greece on day two of the tournament. They retreated back into their shell against Argentina but if they return to the strategy that saw the red devils pick up three points they should beat a disheartened Nigeria team.

Nigeria will qualify if Greece fail to pick up a point and they can beat Korea by two goals. Not an insurmountable ambition but performances so far suggest it might just be beyond them. The Super Eagles have been reasonably impressive going forward, especially when Peter Odemwingie and Kalu Uche are on the pitch, but at the back there are goals there for the taking. If not for the heroics of goalkeeper Enyeama, the Africans goal difference would be so bad they'd be already out. If they can assert some physical dominance over the fit Koreans and score first, then they may have a chance.

The proposition of a second round tie with Uruguay should be enough motivation any team needs. The South Americans have been impressive but they won't be feared by any of the three vying for second place in Group B. A point should be enough for South Korea to progress with Argentina and they have appeared the most determined thus far to reach the next stage of the World Cup.  

Prediction
1. Argentina
2. South Korea
3. Greece
4. Nigeria

Probable teams:

Argentina (4-2-3-1): Romero; Otamendi, Burdisso, Demichelis, Rodriguez; Bolatti, Veron; Messi, Aguero, Di Maria; Milito.

Greece (4-5-1): Tzvoras; Seitaridis, Kyrgiakos, Torosidis, Vyntra; Ninis, Tziolis, Karagounis, Katsouranis, Salpingidis; Gekas.



South Korea (4-4-2): Jung S-R; Oh B-S, Cho Y-H, Lee J-S, Lee Y-P; Park J-S, Kim J-W, Ki S-Y, Lee C-Y; Park C-Y, Yeom K-H.

Nigeria (4-3-3): Enyeama; Odiah, Yobo, Shittu, Taiwo; Etuhu, Haruna, Yussuf; Uche, Yakubu, Odemwingie.

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