Maradona confident Argentina can qualify ahead of Nigeria

World Cup Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Maradona confident Argentina can qualify ahead of Nigeria

The draw was held in Russian Federation on Friday evening. That same encounter also saw Lionel Messi score a brace to help Argentina finish top of Group F with three wins from three games.

Argentina were beaten finalists when Germany triumphed at Brazil 2014, but they needed heroics from Messi, who scored a hat-trick in their final qualifier against Ecuador, to get to the finals this time around.

Croatia have been placed alongside Nigeria, Argentina and debutants Iceland in Group D in next year's Mundial.

1998 champions France will be clear favourite in this group with Didier Deschamps' men boasting some of the finest stars in world football at the moment.

Another African country who after the draw was counted lucky like Nigeria is Egypt, though at a point theya will face the host country as they are in Group A along side Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. We have the youngest team of the 32 teams here.

It is the fifth time Nigeria will be pitched against the South Americans.

World Cup Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Maradona confident Argentina can qualify ahead of Nigeria

"It will be more hard now than before because they know how we play and so we can't surprise them". The quality of the opposition awaiting the Super Eagles next year should require that every single one of the 23 who eventually makes the plane would be there on form and fitness, ability and, to a lesser extent, contribution to the qualifying campaign. They are going to make us fight but it will depend on us.

It starts with their opening game against Croatia. It will be interesting to have a good friendly (match), for example, against Serbia because they play similar football.

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is relishing a World Cup showdown with Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.

While Argentina have never met World Cup debutants Iceland on the worldwide stage, they only have to look at England's shock last-16 2-1 defeat at Euro 2016 to know that the Nordic nation will not be pushovers.

Group B - Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Iran.

The last game of the group will be against two-time World champions Argentina at the St Petersburg Stadium on June 26.

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