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Nigeria vs Argentina: Messi goal leads the way in 3 best bets

| 25.06.2014

Argentina may have secured qualification for the second round, but only victory over the Super Eagles will ensure they finish top of the group and avoid a potentially tricky encounter with France in the next phase.

Nigeria, meanwhile, know that barring a shock win for Iran over Bosnia, they too will be through, though manager Stephen Keshi will be keen to maintain their fine defensive form heading into the business end of the competition.

The South Americans are 8/15 favourites for the win with the draw priced at 14/5 with Ladbrokes and a surprise victory for the African side on at 6/1. But with some 98 different markets available on the game, why not opt for one of the following:

Lionel Messi to score first @ 5/2

The Argentina captain has led by example in these finals, scoring decisive goals in narrow victories over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran heading into this game.

He left it late to score against Carlos Queiroz’s defensively-minded Iran side and with Nigeria likely to take a similarly tough stance, a solitary strike from the new Maradona may be enough to decide the game and see you cash in.

Argentina to win 1-0 @ 13-2

The Super Eagles have yet to concede at these finals with Vincent Enyeama in fine form following a season in which he broke records in Ligue 1. A pillar of strength at the back for Nigeria, the Lille keeper could still fall foul to a single goal, as he did when the teams met four years ago.

That was the second consecutive World Cup meeting between the teams in which Argentina have triumphed 1-0 and with the South Americans failing to rack up the goals in their first two games and Nigeria proving similarly shrewd, a repeat is not out of the question.

Draw/Argentina @ 31/10

Nigeria’s clean sheet record combined with Argentina’s ineffective attacking displays means this game could feature an entirely forgettable first-half in the same mould as he South American’s no-show in the initial period of their victory over Iran.

In truth, were it not for an early Bosnia goal, Argentina would be without a goal in the opening half of a World Cup game. If Nigeria have their way, that record will continue on here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.