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World Cup Group D Betting Tips: Vulnerable Argentina in danger of an early exit

1:30 PM IST 08/06/18
Lionel Messi, Argentina
The South Americans may have Lionel Messi in their ranks but a tricky draw with Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland means qualification is far from assured

If there is a "Group of Death" at the 2018 World Cup then Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland is it.

The South American side may have a host of big names in their squad but qualification was a real struggle at times. A squad containing Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain - to name but a few - netted just 19 times in 18 games.

That has got to be a concern for manager Jorge Sampaoli, as well as World Cup preparation that has seen his side play just one friendly at the time of writing - a 4-0 win over Haiti.

The recent 6-1 defeat to Spain showed just how many question marks there are over a defence that are now without their first-choice goalkeeper in Sergio Romero.

While none of their upcoming opponents are of that ilk, Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland are all sides capable of causing problems in Group D and as such backing against Argentina to qualify looks an appealing prospect at 11/2 (6.50) with Coral.

Those odds suggest there's a 15.38 per cent change of missing out on the group stages but given La Albiceleste's struggles in qualifying plus the relatively high quality of the sides they've been drawn against, it could be worth a small stake.

Nigeria won a recent meeting between the pair by a 4-2 score line and will be confident of exposing a defence that could be short of confidence and match practice given the disrupted nature of the last couple of weeks.

Lionel Messi is the x-factor, of course, and if the Barcelona frontman is on form then Sampaoli's side could ease through and have a chance to progress to the latter stages. Despite that, there are some real weak points that could leave Argentina exposed if the five-time Ballon d'Or winner isn't at his very best.

At 11/2 (6.50) backing against them looks worth an interest for punters ahead of the competition getting underway.

Argentina not to qualify from Group D at 11/2 (6.50)