Lovren ready for World Cup showdown with Messi

Lionel Messi is seen as the Messiah by Argentina fans

FIFA World Cup 2018 Argentina vs Croatia football match will take place at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Argentina and Croatia have met only once before at the World Cup with the La Albiceleste winning that encounter back in 1998.

A defeat against the Luka Modric-led Croatians in Nizhny Novgorod could see Argentina, unthinkably, flirting with a first group stage exit since 2002. The forced absence of Kalinic leaves Mario Madzukic as the only recognised striker in the Croatian camp, which means he will start against Argentina and in nearly all games that Croatia play.

"When we succeed with Argentina, everyone takes credit for it but when Argentina loses, it's always Leo's fault".

"Lionel had a lot of opportunities to score in the first game, but he didn't manage to do so".

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Under pressure himself after an underwhelming year in charge of Argentina despite an extraordinary array of individual talent at his disposal, Sampaoli was bombarded with questions about his controversial use of three central defenders.

The South Americans' could only muster a 1-1 draw with Iceland as the Barcelona superstar missed a penalty and had a stoppage time free-kick cannon off a wall.

It's true that Croatia is the underdog in the Group D meeting, but Dalic is being modest about his team.

With Argentina already in a must-win situation to keep their knockout round hopes alive, Lionel Messi & co. will have to up their performance levels if they aspire to win against this Croatia side who already look like the dark horses of the World Cup. Luka Modric, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic will form the three-man attack behind Mandzukic to complete the team for Croatia against Argentina.

Rakitic and Dalic, full of praise for Messi and Argentina, also said that Croatia will be lifted by playing against them.

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Dalic added that he would not make any special plans for Messi as "no single player can stop him".

"I told him "This is the World Cup of 40 million [Argentinians]".

Messi has won nearly every trophy with Barcelona at club level, including the Champions League and the La Liga, and a World Cup trophy and a Copa America title are the worldwide honours missing from his trophy cabin. He will have his moments, clearly.

"The world knows. Messi is one of the best players in the world".

The defeat to France mean the Socceroos are targeting a win against Denmark in Samara on Thursday to have a realistic chance of qualifying from the group stages.

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Fernando Hierro's side have struggled to break down Iran , who have set up with 11 men behind the ball for most of the game. Group B play at the 2018 World Cup resumes Wednesday when upstart Iran takes on Spain in Russian Federation .

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