Let's mind our own business, say Croatia ahead of Iceland game

Arnold Nichols
June 26, 2018

Without the five-time World Player of the Year, though, it is highly unlikely Argentina would even have qualified. It would make millions of Argentines in the world happy.

Skipper John Obi Mikel has a small fracture in his left hand but should be able to play with a protective cast, while Rohr is also concerned that his team have had a day less to prepare than Argentina.

Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

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.

His first goal against Iceland earned comparisons with Dennis Bergkamp's injury-time wonder goal for the Netherlands that knocked Argentina out of the 1998 World Cup quarter-finals.

The Scandinavian side must win at the Rostov Area to keep their chances alive and pray Nigeria fail to beat Lionel Messi's Argentina in the simultaneous fixture.

Nigerian officials have reportedly issued a hands-off to clubs sniffing around their young keeper Francis Uzoho after an impressive display to keep a clean sheet in the Super Eagles' 2-0 win over Iceland.

"The relationship with the coach is totally normal", Mascherano said at a news conference in Moscow. "When you look at the facts in the Portugal game, it's totally unfair".

But Nigeria have told them to back off, wanting Uzoho, who is signed to Spain's Deportivo La Coruna, to focus on his World Cup campaign.

"It's not a pleasant situation to live with but once coaches get used to that you've got to develop a system that gets the best out of what you have in front of you".

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 risky areas. On paper Croatia are tougher opponents, although, having already qualified for the Round of 16, they've already confirmed that they're going to rest some of their star players.

"We know we're up against the wall but beating Croatia before gives us belief", said the midfielder. Notably, this will be the last World Cup in which the Argentinian great will play. Ideally they also get a narrow Argentina win over Nigeria, but their best hope is to win by as many goals as possible.

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