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Sabella: Argentina to play 4-3-3 against Nigeria

June 24, 2014

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Alejandro Sabella will stick with a three-man attack in Argentina’s last World Cup group game against Nigeria, though he hasn’t yet decided which players will start.

Argentina has already qualified for the second round but needs at least a draw against Nigeria to win Group F. Sabella didn’t offer details when asked Tuesday whether he would rest some of his key players.

“We will almost certainly play with a 4-3-3 formation but I don’t have the starters because I want to await the recovery of a few players,” the Argentina coach said. “There is always a risk of a problem, someone feeling pain at the last moment, there’s always a risk of a player being in doubt.”

Argentina didn’t play well in its opening two games, winning 2-1 over Bosnia-Herzegovina and 1-0 against Iran. Lionel Messi scored the winner against Iran in injury time.

Sabella said the team must try to avoid becoming too reliant on the Argentina captain having a good day, but he added that “when you have a player like Messi, you are always dependent.”

Except for Messi, Argentina’s attack has been unusually dull, with Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero struggling to find their aim.

“We all have to improve, starting with me. We need more movement to find spaces,” Sabella said.

Argentina won each of its previous three World Cup encounters with Nigeria by a single goal, including a 1-0 victory in 2010.

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