FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina wraps up training for momentous Croatia duel

Argentina is hungry for a win after tying 1-1 with Iceland, in which Argentina's superstar forward Messi failed to convert a penalty and went the entire match without scoring a goal.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina wraps up training for momentous Croatia duel
Image courtesy: EPA/EFE

Moscow: Argentina's national team on Wednesday completed its final training session in the Russian town of Bronnitsy near Moscow before heading to Nizhny Novgorod, where they are to face Croatia in their second 2018 FIFA World Cup match in Group D.

Head coach Jorge Sampaoli wrapped up his preparations for Thursday's momentous duel against Croatia, which holds the top spot in the group after rolling over Nigeria 2-0.

Argentina is hungry for a win after tying 1-1 with Iceland, in which Argentina's superstar forward Lionel Messi failed to convert a penalty and went the entire match without scoring a goal.

Coach Sampaoli worked during the week on a new 3-5-2 strategy, potentially taking out defender Marcos Rojo, defensive midfielder Lucas Biglia and right winger Angel Di Maria, to be replaced with right back Gabriel Mercado, right-wing Cristian Pavon and left midfielder Marcos Acuña.

Enzo Perez could also enter instead of Maximiliano Meza if the coach opts for a more defensive midfield.

An Efe-EPA journalist on the scene for Wednesday's practice documented the participation of defenders Javier Mascherano, Gabriel Mercado and Rojo, midfielders Ever Banega and Di Maria, as well as Messi and fellow forward Sergio Aguero.

After Croatia, Argentina is to face Nigeria on June 26.

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