Nigeria and Argentina lock horns in the Round of 16 at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. SPORTSRATION presents a preview of the match.
Type of Competition: 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Stage: round of 16
Fixture: Argentina U-20 Vs Nigeria U-20
Venue: San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina.
Date: Wednesday 31st May 2023
Kick-off Time: 10pm
HEAD TO HEAD
The rivalry will be renewed on Wednesday May 31, this time on Argentine soil,
ABOUT THE MATCH
FIFA U-20 World Cup Champions in 1979, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2007, Argentina will come into the match heavily tipped as favourites plus the confidence from a perfect group stage run.
The South Americans defeated Uzbekistan, Guatemala and New Zealand to amass maximum 9-points and finish as group A winners.
Nigeria on their part came through as one of the best 3rd placed teams from the group stage.
Wins vs Dominican Republic in their opening game and a huge win vs Italy in the second game handed Nigeria a spot in the round of 16 before a disappointing 0-2 loss to Brazil saw the Flying Eagles slip to 3rd place.
Against the most successful country in the tournament’s history in front of their fans, Nigeria has a daunting task if they must clip a jinx of exiting the FIFA U-20 World Cup at this stage in their last three appearances [ 2013, 2015 and 2019 ].
How well the Flying Eagles can contend with Argentine forwards Alejo Véliz and Luka Romero who have scored 5-times between them in this tournament will be key.
Defender Abel Ogwuche, impressive midfielder Daniel Daga will have loads of work in their hands to keep Nigeria tight at the back to allow Victor Eletu, Jude Sunday and Salem Fago opportunity to possibly hurt the Argentines at the other end.
PREDICTED STARTING XI
Argentina: Gomes Gerth; Giay, Aviles, Gomez, Barco; Infantino, Perrone; Gauto, Carboni, Soule; Veliz
Nigeria: Aniagboso; Bameyi, Fredrick, Ogwuche, Agbalaka; Eletu, Daga; Emmanuel, Samson Lawal, Jude Sunday. Salem Fago
With due respect to the Javier Mascherano tutored Argentina U-20 team, this will be their first real test of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament.
A group stage vs Guatemala, New Zealand and Uzbekistan is light-work and so it is no surprise the hosts enjoyed a perfect run.
Both New Zealand and Uzbekistan have been sent parking after defeats to USA and Israel in Monday’s Round of 16 games goes to show the quality of challenge faced by the Argentines who only qualified for this tournament as emergency host.
Expect both teams to score in what should be a balanced game.