Argentina's coach Jorge Sampaoli reacts during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, 2018. Croatia won 0-3. AFP PHOTO | Martin BERNETTI
Agence France-Presse

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli is reportedly planning changes for his team’s crucial match against Nigeria in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

Sampaoli, who has come under immense pressure as the two-time world champions risk an early exit from the Russia 2018 World Cup following their 1-1 draw against Iceland and a 3-0 defeat by Croatia, has been putting his players through their paces experimenting on a 4-3-3 formation without much reliance on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

The South Americans who arrived in Russia as one the favourites need a win over Nigeria to reach the second round.

The former Chile coach Sampaoli, was let down by his Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero’s two high-profile errors against Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Thursday, is set to drop the veteran keeper in favour of his understudy Franco Armani of River Plate.

Argentine daily sports magazine Ole published a picture revealing Sampaoli’s starting X1 against Nigeria at their training base in Bronnitsy on Saturday.

In the picture, the scribbles on the notebook showed two seven-a-side teams facing each other, excluding Messi.

According to reports in the Argentine media, other players likely to be dropped for the clash by the 58-year-old are Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Roma midfielder Lucas Biglia, and Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Acuna.

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