Nigeria’s final group game against Argentina has been overshadowed by talk of the ongoing chaos in the Argentina camp, where a player mutiny is reported to be undermining Jorge Sampaoli’s authority.
Although the attempted coup appears to have been foiled, there are many who still believe that the attendant disaffection may have compromised the Argentina focus and left them vulnerable. Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is not one of them, though.
“We don’t listen to chatter,” Rohr told the media.
“We focus on our own game and the things we have to do to win this important game.
“We do not change how we prepare because of what is happening outside. We focus on what we can control.”
At the team’s pre-match press conference, defender Brian Idowu echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We cannot think about that. We are professionals, so we have to focus on our own job, work hard, prepare hard and go out on the pitch and play to win,” Idowu noted.
Nigeria, second on the group with three points, need to win against Argentina to guarantee progress, but can also go through with a draw if Iceland do not beat Croatia.
Captain John Mikel Obi is the only injury worry after he fractured his wrist, but Rohr earlier said he would be available for selection and play with a cast.
The game is at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and kicks off at 20:00 CAT.