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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 11: Sergio Aguero of Argentina celebrates with teammate Alejandro Gomez after scoring a goal during an international friendly match between Russia and Argentina at Luzhniki Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Epsilon/Getty Images

Argentina face Nigeria in an international friendly at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russia, but the South Americans will be without Lionel Messi on Tuesday.

The icon withdrew from the squad after La Albiceleste defeated Russia 1-0 in Moscow on Saturday.

Nigeria dominated Group B in CAF qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, topping the standings ahead of Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Here is how you can watch the game:

                   

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 14

Time: 4:30 p.m. (GMT)/11:30 a.m. (ET)

TV: beIN Sports (U.S.)

StreambeIN Sports CONNECT

            

Preview

From L front row: Argentina's Lionel Messi, Eduardo Salvio, Sergio Aguero, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria, Matias Kranevitter, 2nd row from L: Javier Mascherano, Giovani Lo Celso, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi and goalkeeper Sergio Romero pose for a team

MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

Messi was certainly the star name for the friendly in Krasnodar, but the Barcelona maverick has returned to his club after the victory against Russia.

According to Argentina’s official Twitter account (h/t Tom Webber of Goal), the forward opted to leave preparations with his country, and it has been confirmed the player is not suffering with injury.

Messi linked with Sergio Aguero to capture a late 1-0 victory against the Russians, with Argentina dominating possession as they battled for territory.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was delighted with the performance at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, lauding his attack after the match.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 11: Jorge Sampaoli coach of Argentina shouts instructions to his players during an international friendly match between Russia and Argentina at Luzhniki Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Imag

Epsilon/Getty Images

Per Tom Webber of Goal, Sampaoli said:

This is what we are looking for.

There was more vertical play with [Alejandro] ‘Papu’ Gomez next to [Angel] Di Maria, interesting movements between Aguero and Messi, many movements on the wings.

[…]

“He [Aguero] read and understood the match very well in a few places.

He had a couple of shots in the first half and another three in the second, one of which was a goal.”

Aguero has been forced to battle for his starting place at Manchester City since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, but the striker was sharp when he had to be at his most clinical for his country.

Nigeria's John Ogu (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifying football match between Algeria and Nigeria at the Chahid Hamlaou Stadium in Constantine on November 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RYAD KRAM

RYAD KRAMDI/Getty Images

Nigeria will be in a celebratory mood when they walk out to face their opponents, fresh from completing qualification for the World Cup as unbeaten group winners.

The Super Eagles shocked African football fans by skipping past Cameroon and Algeria, who could only record one victory between themselves in Group B.

Nigeria scored 12 goals in their six qualification games, and their detractors had no answer as they progressed in style.

Argentina will be a different kind of prospect for the Africans, but with Messi out of the friendly, there could be a shock in Krasnodar.

The South Americans have been hugely inconsistent in the past 12 months and have appeared short of inspiration during Messi’s absences.

Aguero remains in good form, but Argentina will need to do better in the final third if they are to make short work of the Nigerian threat.

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