Di Maria wary of Nigeria


Nigeria just need a draw to seal their passage into the Last 16, and di Maria is expecting a tough encounter against the reigning African Cup of Nations champions.

“They’re another hard side to play, as they showed against Bosnia, who everyone tipped to go through,” the Real Madrid star told FIFA.com.

“I’ve no doubt they’ll try to defend in numbers and hit us on the break, but they’ve got players who can score at any time.”

Argentina have been less than impressive so far in the tournament and have struggled to break down their opponents despite the wealth of attacking talent at their disposal.

When asked if Argentina would try something new in their final group game, di Maria replied, “That’s a decision for the coach to make. He’s the one who decides if we play one way or another.

“All we try to do is adapt to what he asks of us and give all we can on the pitch to win.”

Di Maria feels patience is key in their showdown with the Super Eagles.

“We need to keep doing what we have been doing up to now, and that means being patient in the final third and finding the spaces we need to score goals,” he said.

“To do that we have to move the ball around and pick out team-mates who are in space, so we have be on the move the whole time.”

Yet if that doesn’t work, there’s always talisman and captain Lionel Messi to rely on.

“That’s true. We should be thankful he’s Argentinian,” said his team mate.

Kick-off between Argentina and Nigeria is scheduled for 6pm South African time.