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Jorge Sampaoli Will Reportedly Axe Sergio Aguero After Failed Argentina 'Mutiny'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2018

Argentina's forward Sergio Aguero attends a training session at the team's base camp in Bronnitsy, near Moscow, Russia on June 24, 2018 ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match against Nigeria to be held in Saint Petersbourg on June 26. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)
JUAN MABROMATA/Getty Images

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli will reportedly drop Sergio Aguero from the starting lineup for Tuesday's must-win clash with Nigeria for his part in a failed mutiny against him. 

According to the Mirror's Simon Mullock, following Argentina's 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Croatia, several players asked Claudio Tapia—president of the Argentinian Football Association—for manager Sampaoli to be relieved of his duties or allow them a say in picking the team.

Tapia decided to stick by Sampaoli, who now looks set to make several changes to the side with Aguero replaced by Gonzalo Higuain. Willy Caballero, Marcos Acuna and Enzo Perez also look set to make way for Franco Armani, Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega, respectively.

Aguero appeared to be unhappy with Sampaoli after the Croatia defeat, per football journalist Martin Mazur:

Martin Mazur @martinmazur

When asked about Sampaoli's quote of the players failing to adapt to the game plan, Agüero has just said in the mixed zone: "Let him say what he wants". CALM ATMOSPHERE, ARGENTINA...

Football writer Andrew Gaffney cautioned against dropping the striker, though:

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Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC

Aguero dropped by Sampaoli. This seems like an unnecessary risk when he’s the only player who has scored for Argentina at this World Cup (and the team’s problems don’t lie with him). #Worldcup #arg https://t.co/kudJ07YHFX

He scored his first World Cup goal to open La Albiceleste's account against Iceland in the opening game, though things have gone down hill for the team since.

Their inability to defend has been exposed, and they lack presence in midfield, with the latter contributing to disjointed play in the final third.

Aguero was replaced by Higuain during the Croatia match having done very little, but Higuain suffered a similar problem as the team failed to create for him or get Lionel Messi on the ball in dangerous areas.

As such, that change may have little positive impact on their fortunes—particularly as Higuain has not scored for the national side since 2016—though the others might.

Caballero has been a liability, while Di Maria and Banega may be able to free up Messi to push forward and ease the pressure on him as the team's primary playmaker.

La Albiceleste need to beat Nigeria on Tuesday and hope Iceland fail to win against Croatia. If both Argentina and Iceland win, the former will need to outscore the latter to go through on goal difference.

They don't sound like a camp brimming with togetherness and cohesion, though, which does not bode well for their chances.

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