Sergio Aguero faces the axe against Nigeria on Tuesday as Argentina bid to salvage their World Cup campaign.
The Manchester City striker is likely to pay the price for his country’s 3-0 defeat against Croatia, as they desperately seek to avoid a humiliating group-stage exit for the first time since 2002.
While Aguero is set to be dropped, it appears that only 12 days into this World Cup, the name of the first high-profile managerial casualty is already known.
Argentina may not be out of this tournament yet but it seems that Jorge Sampaoli will be relieved of his duties once their part in the World Cup is over.
Argentina held a press conference without their beleaguered manager on Sunday in the wake of reports that senior players such as Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano have lost faith in him.
Argentina FA chief executive Claudio Tapia denied suggestions that Sampaoli was to be sacked immediately, while Mascherano admitted that senior players had gone to FA officials on Friday night to discuss issues about tactics.
It is thought that the Argentina squad have lost faith in Sampaoli and his penchant for playing three at the back. On Tuesday they are set to deploy a 4-3-3 formation in order to bring the best out of Messi.
The Barcelona star has had a miserable tournament so far, missing a penalty in their opening draw against Iceland and making no impact as Argentina were embarrassed by Croatia last Thursday.
Sampaoli has already taken the blame for his team’s problems but his cause has not been helped by the likes of Diego Maradona. The Argentina legend — who was coach himself during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa — has said that Sampaoli may as well ‘not go home’ if he fails here in Russia.
Things came to a head in the wake of the Croatia defeat when the squad demanded talks with Sampaoli, his staff and Tapia. At the meeting they made it clear that they had lost trust and respect for the ex-Chile and Sevilla boss.
The situation brings back memories of France’s problems in 2010. Eight years ago the French refused to train after Nicolas Anelka was sent home following a row with coach Raymond Domenech.
France crashed out of the tournament with one point and Domenech left his post immediately afterwards. Here, Sampaoli has one more chance to save his team’s World Cup even if his own fate would appear to already be sealed.