Lionel Messi and Argentina step up their preparations for Nigeria game

Sport360 staff 14:37 23/06/2018
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Lionel Messi (right) trained on Saturday

Two days after their defeat to Croatia, Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates took to the training round on Saturday as they stepped up their preparations for their crucial game against Nigeria.

The South Americans face Nigeria in St Petersburg on Tuesday, knowing three points against the Super Eagles will send them through to the knockout stages, providing Croatia avoid defeat against Iceland.

Messi was among the players to train with the group but Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Lucas Biglia all trained in the gym as they recover from minor knocks.

There has been speculation that coach Jorge Sampaoli would be sacked during the tournament with 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Burruchaga, the team’s technical director, set to replace him. However, the Argentina Football Association strongly denied this.

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