Argentina and captain Lionel Messi will find “a different style of performance” when they face Nigeria on Tuesday with their World Cup on the line, according to Marcelo Bielsa.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        A humiliating 3-0 defeat to Croatia on Thursday has left Argentina in crisis, with reports that the players tried and failed to have coach Jorge Sampaoli sacked in the wake of the result.
    

                
                  
                  
                    



  







	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        Anything less than a victory over Nigeria in Saint Petersburg will see Argentina eliminated at the group stage of a World Cup for the first time since 2002, when Bielsa was in charge.
    

                
                  
                  
                    




   





	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        Argentina vs Croatia: World Cup 2018 player ratings







    
    
        
        1/22 Danijel Subasic 6
                    
                    Was solid in goal but not aske to make any difficult saves
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                2/22 Sime Vrsaljko 7
                    
                    Utilised the overlap incredibly well and defended okay
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                3/22 Dejan Lovren 6
                    
                    Made a quality block to stop Croatia from going behind but made the mistake to let Perez in
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                4/22 Domagoj Vida 6
                    
                    Worked well with Lovren but had a lapse in judgment that allowed Perez a free shot on call
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                5/22 Ivan Strinic 6
                    
                    Struggled in defence as he was under a lot of pressure, but he handled it well and gave Argentina nothing
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                6/22 Ivan Rakitic 6
                    
                    Played very well, he was quick into space and accurate with his balls over the top, broke well on the counter and deserved the third goal
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                7/22 Marcelo Brozovic 6
                    
                    Was great in mid-field but linked well with the front men when going forward, created chances and tracked back well
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                8/22 Ante Rebic 7
                    
                    Lucky to avoid a red card but looked good going forward and strung some good passes together to get the ball out wide, great finish to get the first goal
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                9/22 Luka Modric 8
                    
                    Was a little quiet in the first half but found Rebic with a beautiful long ball, scored a blinder to give Croatia the win
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                10/22 Ivan Perisic 7
                    
                    Missed a great chance to put Croatia in front, but was strong up front and held the ball up well
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                11/22 Mario Mandzukic 7
                    
                    Missed a great chance to put Croatia in front, but was strong up front and held the ball up well
                    
                    
                    AP
                    
                12/22 Willy Caballero 4
                    
                    Made a great save to stop Mandzukic from scoring but had a howler in the second half to lead to the goal
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                13/22 Eduardo Salvio 6
                    
                    Very keen to get forward but left gaps at the back that got exploited
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                14/22 Gabriel Mercado 6
                    
                    Made some good blocks but the defensive unit was not working together
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                15/22 Nicolas Otamendi 5
                    
                    Was very poor he wasted possession and took too much time on the ball at the back
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                16/22 Nicolas Tagliafico 6
                    
                    Struggled to gel with Otamendi, the communication wasn’t there, and they took too many risks at the back
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                17/22 Javier Mascherano 6
                    
                    Was strong when challenging the mid-field and won more, one on one challenges than he lost
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                18/22 Enzo Perez 6
                    
                    Missed an absolute sitter to take the lead, it was an open goal and he put it wide
                    
                    
                    AP
                    
                19/22 Marcus Acuna 7
                    
                    Hit the bar with an intended cross but got forward at any opportunity
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                20/22 Maximiliano Meza 6
                    
                    Had a shot saved by Subasic and should have levelled for Argentina
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                21/22 Lionel Messi 6
                    
                    Hardly touched the ball but made a good run behind the defence and almost got to a ball that came over the top
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                22/22 Sergio Aguero 6
                    
                    Only touched the ball 7 times in the first half but made a great run and won a corner
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                1/22 Danijel Subasic 6
                    
                    Was solid in goal but not aske to make any difficult saves
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                2/22 Sime Vrsaljko 7
                    
                    Utilised the overlap incredibly well and defended okay
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                3/22 Dejan Lovren 6
                    
                    Made a quality block to stop Croatia from going behind but made the mistake to let Perez in
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                4/22 Domagoj Vida 6
                    
                    Worked well with Lovren but had a lapse in judgment that allowed Perez a free shot on call
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                5/22 Ivan Strinic 6
                    
                    Struggled in defence as he was under a lot of pressure, but he handled it well and gave Argentina nothing
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                6/22 Ivan Rakitic 6
                    
                    Played very well, he was quick into space and accurate with his balls over the top, broke well on the counter and deserved the third goal
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                7/22 Marcelo Brozovic 6
                    
                    Was great in mid-field but linked well with the front men when going forward, created chances and tracked back well
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                8/22 Ante Rebic 7
                    
                    Lucky to avoid a red card but looked good going forward and strung some good passes together to get the ball out wide, great finish to get the first goal
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                9/22 Luka Modric 8
                    
                    Was a little quiet in the first half but found Rebic with a beautiful long ball, scored a blinder to give Croatia the win
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                10/22 Ivan Perisic 7
                    
                    Missed a great chance to put Croatia in front, but was strong up front and held the ball up well
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                11/22 Mario Mandzukic 7
                    
                    Missed a great chance to put Croatia in front, but was strong up front and held the ball up well
                    
                    
                    AP
                    
                12/22 Willy Caballero 4
                    
                    Made a great save to stop Mandzukic from scoring but had a howler in the second half to lead to the goal
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                13/22 Eduardo Salvio 6
                    
                    Very keen to get forward but left gaps at the back that got exploited
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                14/22 Gabriel Mercado 6
                    
                    Made some good blocks but the defensive unit was not working together
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                15/22 Nicolas Otamendi 5
                    
                    Was very poor he wasted possession and took too much time on the ball at the back
                    
                    
                    REUTERS
                    
                16/22 Nicolas Tagliafico 6
                    
                    Struggled to gel with Otamendi, the communication wasn’t there, and they took too many risks at the back
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                17/22 Javier Mascherano 6
                    
                    Was strong when challenging the mid-field and won more, one on one challenges than he lost
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                18/22 Enzo Perez 6
                    
                    Missed an absolute sitter to take the lead, it was an open goal and he put it wide
                    
                    
                    AP
                    
                19/22 Marcus Acuna 7
                    
                    Hit the bar with an intended cross but got forward at any opportunity
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                20/22 Maximiliano Meza 6
                    
                    Had a shot saved by Subasic and should have levelled for Argentina
                    
                    
                    AFP/Getty Images
                    
                21/22 Lionel Messi 6
                    
                    Hardly touched the ball but made a good run behind the defence and almost got to a ball that came over the top
                    
                    
                    EPA
                    
                22/22 Sergio Aguero 6
                    
                    Only touched the ball 7 times in the first half but made a great run and won a corner
                    
                    
                    Getty Images
                    
                
But speaking at his unveiling as the new head coach of Leeds United, Bielsa insisted that he still has faith in Argentina, in Messi and in Sampaoli, who succeeded him in charge of Chile in 2012.
    

                
                  
                  
                    





  





	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “I think we’re going to see the best of Argentina from tomorrow onwards,” he said. “I firmly believe in the quality of the players and in particular Messi’s leadership, which I believe will come to the fore and be evident.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “I’m convinced also by the knowledge of the backroom staff and the management team. Their wisdom and knowledge will show itself. I think the two matches we’ve seen so far will be used as a grounding to put in a style of play that the national team wants to see.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “They will move on in a positive way.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “I’ve got a huge amount of faith in both the coach and the staff and also the players. From tomorrow you will see a different style of performance.”
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        Argentina must beat Nigeria and hope that Iceland fail to win against Croatia, who have already qualified for the round of 16 and require only one point to secure top spot in Group D.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	  

	
	





                  
                
              
                
        Regardless of whether or not they succeed, Bielsa’s professional focus is now fully on Leeds, and he admitted that the club has a significant amount of work to do in the transfer market.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “I’ve seen all 51 games played last season, plus the friendlies in Asia,” he added. “I’ve got opinions and made my mind up about all the players.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	





                  
                
              
                
        “The club have 15 players more than they need. And we still need four or five different positions on the field where we need to strengthen. I think moving forward in a football sense, the squad shouldn’t be too numerous, with too many players who aren’t getting game time.
    

                
                  
                  
                    








	
	
	
	  

	





                  
                
              
                
        
    
      
Bielsa could work miracles at Leeds — providing they bend to his will

  
“Anybody leaving will be more due to the fact I like a trimmed down, lean squad so everyone is getting regular game time.
    

                
                  
                  
                
              
                
        “[But] I can’t ignore the fact there are 46 games in this competition and the potential that 18-20 weeks where you play two games per week if we’ve made progress in the cup competitions.
    

                
                  
                  
                
              
                
        “We have one or two youngsters who could be available in this situation so that we can add those to the squad as a whole, but we might need to add one or two more players.”........

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