They would still require a win against Nigeria but this scenario allows the possibility of using Croatia's win over Iceland to sneak the team into the round.
If Nigeria beat Iceland (Croatia 6, Nigeria 3, Argentina and Iceland 1).
The man Messi is attempting - and so far failing - to emulate was watching on animatedly from the stands.But things were about too get much worse for Maradona and Messi, as Modric's wonderfully manufactured goal put the game beyond doubt.The 2014 Brazil edition drowned in its own emotion in that 7-1 mauling from Germany, but Tite has instilled a better approach for coping with the ridiculous levels of expectation, which always surround Brazil.If he had a headache then, a searing migraine was on its way.Minutes later, the Argentine fans in the stands had their heads in their hands.Paul Pogba will play despite his problems at Manchester United.After a comical defensive mix up in the Croatian back line, the ball fell to Perez in the box but the veteran midfielder somehow put his shot wide with the goal gaping.Despite Messi's best efforts, Argentina's Caballero was the first of the two goalkeepers to be tested, getting down brilliantly to tip Ivan Perisic's goalbound shot around the post.
On balance, you might think this team could be found out at some point in the knockout stages.If Iceland and Nigeria draw (Croatia 6, Iceland 2, Argentina and Nigeria 1).Of the rest, Belgium will be a major player if Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are at their brilliant best.Here, we run down the permutations of how the closing matches may come to pass.Add in two top goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, plus flying full-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo, and you have to give Brazil a big chance of repeating what they did in 1958: win a World who will win nfl divisional playoffs Cup on European soil.But if he is ready to go, the blend of silk (Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Jesus, Neymar) and steel (Casemiro, Fernandinho, Marquinhos, Miranda) looks powerful.Messi's headache, as the teams lined up before the match, the camera panned along Argentina's starting XI during the national anthem and eventually landed on Lionel Messi.He also says, a little dramatically, that Messi will be playing "with a revolver to his head such discount hummingbird feeders is the pressure on him to cement his reputation by delivering the World Cup as Diego Maradona did in 1986.But you have to fear for hosts Russia, whose very average team might struggle in a group alongside Uruguay and Mo Salah's Egypt.Mario Mandzukic was the next player guilty of missing a sitter, somehow failing to make contact with a diving header when just two yards from goal.Argentina's best passage of play all game almost brought the equalizer 10 minutes later.
Willy Caballero puts his head in his hands after gifting Croatia the opener.
The big question is whether Neymar will be fully fit as he races against time to recover from a broken metatarsal.
With time running out.
Led by Sergio Ramos, they still have massive experience and technical excellence, as Italy found to their cost in qualifying.
Croatia would top the group and Argentina would fall into second place unless Croatia and Iceland draw, which then leads to goal difference becoming the decision maker.