Under Nigerian legend Stephen Keshi, who took part in 94 and 98 World Cups, Nigeria are showing potential. In the last two World Cup’s they have not won a game, so they will be keen the get that out of the way when facing Iran – a must-win game for the Super Eagles. Here is their squad:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim
Defenders: Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Juwon Oshaniwa, Joseph Yobo, Kunle Odunlami
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi, Ramon Azeez, Ogenyi Onazi, Reuben Gabriel, Michael Babatunde, Ejike Uzoenyi
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, Michael Uchebo, Peter Odemwingie , Victor Moses, Uche Nwofor
Coach – Stephen Keshi
Missing – Ederson Echiejile
In a rather simple process, Nigeria qualified with ease. In the group stage where they faced very few teams who challenged them, they lumbered to top spot with 3 wins and 3 draws, scoring just 7. In the final round, the playoffs, they defeated Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate to book their place in Brazil.
Ones to Watch:
Ahmed Musa – the CSKA Moscow hitman plays a central role in Russia, but for Nigeria will revert to his natural Wing position. With Emenike in the squad, his pace is utilized on the flanks, along with Victor Moses. He will be key to breaking down stern Bosnia and Iran defences, and having a go at Argentina.
Ogenyi Onazi – the deep lying midfielder has had a good season with Lazio, performing well in the Europa League as well as Serie A. His presence will allow Mikel to roam forward and create. An exciting young player to watch!
Emmanuel Emenike – he is Keshi’s main man! Currently playing for Fenerbache, he is doing well, helping them to their first title in a couple of seasons. For Nigeria, he plays on his own up front with two wingers providing ball to him. His goals will be key, he could well be their top scorer.
(4-3-3): Enyeama, Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Oshaniwa, Onazi, Mikel, Azeez, Musa, Emenike, Moses.
A decent lineup with some familiar names! Vincent Enyeama returns for his 3rd World Cup, and Captains the Super Eagles. Celtic’s Efe Ambrose moves over to right back. Chelsea winger Victor Moses makes the squad, but could be pushed out of the team by Peter Odemwingie, although we think the former will start due to his work rate.
Winner – 250/1
Group Winner – 10/1
To Qualify – 11/8
Group Stage Elimination – 8/13
Under 3.5 Points – 4/5
We think that Nigeria will exit at the first round – losing to Bosnia and Argentina, but beating Iran. Our Top Tips are Under 3.5 Points @ 4/5 as well as Group Stage Elimination @ 8/13