Super Eagles could wind up depending on the Group D table toppers Croatia – who intend to select a weak side against Iceland – to reach the knockout stages. While Nigeria skipper John Obi Mikel has called on the Croats to be professional and not rest players against Iceland in a match that could decide Nigeria’s World Cup fate.
Two crucial goals from Leicester City loanee Ahmed Musa ensure Nigeria stay in the chase for a place in the knockout stages as they melt down the Viking’s ice in Volgograd on Friday evening.
Gernot Rohr’s side presently realizes that a triumph over Argentina in Saint Petersburg will be sufficient for them to reach the last 16 for the fourth time in their history.
Furthermore, however, a loss to the wounded Leo – Messi led side would affirm their elimination from the tournament, while a draw would mean they would expect Croatia to help them out against Iceland.
Croatia has effectively booked their place in the second round of the tournament, and as much Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has promised to rest some of his star players in order to conserve their fitness for the knockout stages.
Mikel, however, does not comprehend the reason behind Dalic’s decision and feels it is out of line and unprofessional on whatever remains of the teams in the group.
Speaking to Goal.com Mikel expressed his dissatisfaction:
“I don’t think it’s the best thing to do, “This is a massive tournament – you can’t rest people and give others a chance of qualification.”
They should be professional and play their best team. This is such a big stage that you can’t rest players just to help other teams to qualify.”
Nigeria has confronted Argentina four times in their past five World Cup appearances, losing on every one of the four events, but the form of the Albiceleste has raised expectations that the Super Eagles can end that awful jinx.
Both Nigeria’s match against Argentina and Iceland’s match with Croatia take place simultaneously at 7:00 pm BST (2:00 pm ET) on Tuesday, June 26.
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