Urby Emanuelson (R) of FC Utrecht in action against Emanuel Mammana (L) of FC Zenit during the UEFA Europa League qualification match between FC Utrecht and FC Zenit in St. Petersburg, Russia, 24 August 2017. EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV
Saturday Dec 16, 2017. 13:00
Russia-based defender Emanuel Mammana is confident that Argentina will do well in a 2018 FIFA World Cup group which includes Nigeria.
Argentina are in Group D along with Iceland, Croatia as well as Nigeria. The prestigious global tournament will be hosted by Russia.
The FC Zenit Saint Petersburg player labelled Argentina that parades the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero one of the best in the world.
Nigeria come from behind to beat Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly match in Russia a month ago and Mammana has acknowledged that the three-time African champions are difficult opponents.
''Argentina is one of the best teams in the world, and all the teams want to beat it. We have a very difficult group: Croatia plays very well, Iceland - fight a lot, with Nigeria we met recently and lost,'' the official website of Zenit Saint Petersburg, citing Veja, quoted Mammana as saying.
''Jorge Sampaoli is a great coach who likes attacking football. Sometimes the defenders of this style of play are not easy, but this tactician has great knowledge. I believe that he will bring Argentina to the right path.
''The main favorite of the tournament, I would call Brazil, where there are great players. As always, Germany is among the contenders for the title, which is always strong,” he added.
''And I would also single out France and Belgium, although not rank them among the favorites.''
The Group D clash between Argentina and Nigeria will be played at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on the 26th of June 2018.