At age 35, Juan Sebastian Veron is still a key part of the Argentine team. ((Daniel Garcia/Getty Images))


Argentina vs. Nigeria, Group B

Date and Location

June 12, Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg   

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (9:45 a.m. ET). Consult CBC’s full broadcast schedule.  

What's at stake

Argentina is the clear favourite to progress from Group B, and many might think the pressure will be on Maradona's boys to hit the ground running. However, Nigeria has not had a successful run up to the tournament and will need a strong result against Argentina to avoid crushing criticism from home.  

Injuries and suspensions

No injury concerns for either team.

Rogers Pre-game Show

Watch the Rogers Pre-game show 30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

Player to watch for Argentina

Juan Sebastian Veron — For those who think you can never go home again, just look at Veron. After a mediocre and overvalued European career, Veron returned to Argentina in 2006 and brought Estudiantes to the peak of South American soccer. Now 35 years old, La Brujita (Little Witch) can still conjure magic with sharp passes and dangerous set-pieces 

Player to watch for Nigeria

Dickson Etuhu — The Nigerian holding midfielder has helped secure the spine of Fulham's midfield and defence — he is a balance of continuous grit with decisive skill.

Key matchup

Diego Milito vs. Joseph Yobo — If Yobo can keep his head about him and focus on the task at hand, Milito will find it extremely hard to get past the Nigerian behemoth. If, however, the Everton defender succumbs to nerves and gets distracted, the Inter Milan striker will make Nigeria suffer. 

Argentine perspective

"I'm a lot more focused than four years ago, I'm preparing myself very much for the first game. Since I got on the plane from England to travel to Argentina and join the group, I have been thinking about the opener against Nigeria." — forward Carlos Tevez 

Nigerian perspective

"We need to take our own pound of flesh against Argentina. There was something lacking in our game [from the 2002 World Cup], but this time around I hope we can do better." — forward Peter Odemwingie 

World Cup head-to-head

This will be the third time that Argentina and Nigeria face one another, having locked horns  in 1994 and 2002. 

  • Series: Argentina leads 2-0
  • Games played:2
  • Argentina: 2 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws
  • Nigeria: 0 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws
  • Goals: Argentina 3, Nigeria 1 
  • Last match: Argentina's only victory of a disappointing 2002 World Cup came against Nigeria, with Gabriel Batistuta firing La Albiceleste ahead after 63 minutes. 

All-time head-to-head

  • Series: Argentina leads 2-1-0
  • Games played:3
  • Argentina: 2 wins, 0 loss, 1 draw
  • Nigeria: 0 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw
  • Goals: Argentina 3, Nigeria 1