Argentina are targeting their first win of the 2018 World Cup when they face Croatia in Group D on Thursday (6pm).
Jorge Sampaoli’s side drew their opening game of the tournament against Iceland, with Sergio Aguero’s opener cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason.
Lionel Messi missed a penalty, but Sampaoli says the Barcelona star should not shoulder all of the blame.
“When Argentina don’t win, we attribute responsibility to Leo.”
“I think that’s too easy a way for Argentinians to think,” Sampaoli said.
“There were lots of factors of irritation for not winning against Iceland.”
“There are 40 of us at this World Cup.”
“The team will be together when things go well and when things go badly.”
Croatia had better fortunes in their opening fixture, cruising past Nigeria with a 2-0 win, but will face a much tougher opponent in Argentina at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
However, Croatia coach Zlatko Dali says his side have “nothing to lose”.
“The match against Argentina is the easiest game for us at the World Cup because we have three points and we play against a big opponent,” he said.
“We have nothing to lose in that game.”
“I’ll tell my players before the start of the game just to enjoy the spectacle.”