The Super Eagles have a strong reputation they need to live up to at this summer’s World Cup. Starting with 1994 the Nigerians have only missed on the tournament on one occasion and when taking part they’ve proven to be one of the strongest and most attack driven African teams.
Yes, they’ve been drawn into what the press has playfully labeled the group of death. But Nigeria has shown that they can handle their own. They will be meeting competition favorites Argentina in the group stages, arguably their toughest opponent.
But there is hope. Nigeria recently played Argentina in a friendly, played in Russia no less, came back from 2-0 down and ended up winning 4-2. Things will certainly be different in an official game with so much at stake, but it’s an impressive result nonetheless that should give the Africans hope.
– Star players: Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho
– FootballCoin stars:
Victor Moses (Chelsea) – 10,784.05 seasonal points (Pro), 3,864.35 points (Easy)
– Coach: Salisu Yusuf
– Group: D
– Group fixtures:
Sat June 16: Croatia – Nigeria, Kaliningrad, 8pm
Fri June 22: Nigeria – Iceland, Volgograd, 4pm
Tue June 26: Nigeria – Argentina, St Petersburg, 7pm
They’re playing in what is arguably the toughest group of the tournament. Which teams will qualify is anybody’s guess. Nigeria’s impressive recent displays and their quality squad of players, should offer them a fair shot against all of the three opposition teams.
Considering the consistency with which they qualified for World Cup tournaments (they’ve only missed one since 1994) and their experienced squad, Nigeria should really be setting their sights high. They will need at least four points from their first two games to qualify for the knockout round.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho
Defenders: William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Tyronne Ebuehi
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joel Obi
Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simeon Nwankwo
– World Cup history: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2018