All about the Nigeria Team at Football World Cup 2018
Nigeria was the first African nation to reach the FIFA 2018 World Cup after they defeated Zambia 1-0 in October 2017. The only goal of the match which was scored by Alex Iwobi ensured that the Super Eagles were not left out of the 2018 battle in Russia. The team will be heading to Russia hoping to build on their 2014 performance in Brazil where they qualified for the knockout stages but didn't proceed to the quarter-finals after being eliminated by France. The team will also be heading to Russia hoping to be the First African team to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament after Ghana reached the quarterfinals in the 2010 edition that was hosted in South Africa.
Tips for Betting on Nigeria in the World Cup 2018
Nigeria is in Group D alongside Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland. Their first match of the campaign will be against Croatia on 16th June. Although Nigeria isn’t packed with stars like most of the other countries that will be participating in this year’s World Cup, we can expect some good performances from the team headed by Gernot Rohr. The team usually adapts to a defensive style of play, so we don’t expect a lot of goals from its matches. For instance, despite John Obi Mikel who is also the team captain being an outfield midfielder, he mostly adapts the deep-lying position to protect the defence.
Although the current Nigerian side doesn’t lose too many games, we can wait and see if it will be able to stop the world’s most talented goal scorer when they meet Argentina in their group stages. However, you can’t rule out a possible win for the Super eagles given that they were able to rally from two goals down to win a friendly match against Argentina in Krasnodar in November last year. Argentina will probably be the biggest threat to Nigeria in Group D, but both Croatia and Iceland are teams capable of doing anything.
Judging from their previous performances and its style of play, Nigeria isn’t a team that will score so many goals in a match, but it can defend very well. We shouldn’t expect teams to have an easy pass through the Nigerian side in the World Cup. Argentina can easily win group D but Nigeria can still qualify for the knock-out stages. We should expect fewer corners and goals in their matches and maybe a lot of yellow cards if they get a pressing team that can push them deep into their own half. Save for Argentina; we are looking at three evenly matched teams in Group D that will be competing tightly to qualify for the knockout stage in Russia.
Betting Odds on Nigeria to Win the World Cup 2018
Here is a look at some odds from different sources on the possibility of the Super eagles lifting the World Cup trophy in Russia.
Given that no African team has ever won the World Cup, the odds are against Nigeria being the first African team to lift the prestigious trophy. In fact, the furthest stage that an African team has ever reached in the tournament is the quarter-finals so if there is anything that the Super Eagles will be aiming to achieve is the first African country to reach the semi-finals.
Expected Nigeria Lineup at the World Cup
Nigeria was in what was regarded as a pool of death in the World Cup qualifying matches, but it emerged as the winners with a relatively static squad. They beat Zambia away from home to qualify as the first African country. The Rohr’s men will be motivated by the success and fine form they enjoyed during the qualification matches which saw them lock out Cameroon and Algeria from featuring in Russia. They were a great side while playing at home which saw them earn five wins from their qualifying matches and only lost to South Africa by two goals. We, therefore, expect the coach to keep the same squad.
Nigeria can present the toughest challenge to Argentina in group Das they look to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. Victor Moses has been the primary source of firepower for the Super Eagles in their qualification campaign while John Obi Mikel is still a good captain to the side. Victor scored three goals which played a crucial role in Nigeria’s early qualification to the World Cup. Alex Iwobi is another rising star in the team who can set up brilliant goals any time.
Currently, there are a lot of high-skilled professional players on the Nigerian side who will be taking part in the upcoming World Cup competition. The team that beat Zambia in the qualifying match has been quite convincing against their rivals, and it can present something special to the other competitors in Russia. We expect the preliminary team squad of the super eagles to feature the following players:
- Daniel Akpeyi
- Ikechukwu Ezenwa
- Francis Uzoho
- Ola Aina
- Kenneth Omeruo
- William Troost
- Leon Balogun
- Shehu Abdullahi
- Antony Nwakaeme
- Tryonne Ebuehi
- Chidozie Awaziem
- Brian Idowu
- Uche Henry Agbo
- John Obi Mikel
- Wilfred Ndidi
- Victor Moses
- John Ogu
- Ahmed Musa
- Alex Iwobi
- Kelechi Iheanacho
- Henry Onyekuru
- Elderson Echiejile
- Odion Ighalo
- Musa Mohammed
Coach Gernot Rohr is known to favour the 4-3-3 formation due to the defensive style of Nigerian side. He also prefers this style due since he knows that he doesn’t have attacking superstars that can compete favourably with the likes of Kun Aguero and Lionel Messi in the Argentina side. In most cases, the three midfielders assume a deeper role providing extra protection to the defenders. However, the Nigerian side has sometimes played in the 4-4-2.
Here is a probable team formation for the Super Eagles. Ikechikwu Ezenwa has been in top form with the local side Ifeanyi Ubah F.C, and he is expected to be the man between the sticks in Russia. He played a crucial role in the qualification stages, and he has established himself as the most preferred goalkeeper under Coach Gernot Rohr. However, Ezenwa should expect competition from Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho. In the last qualifying match, the coach decided to play with a back four comprising of Shehu, Balogun, Troost, and the young Elderson. Although this has been the preferred line of defence, we expect other defenders such as Tryonne Ebuehi, Chidozie Awaziem, Ola Aina, and Kenneth Omeruo to fight for a place in the starting eleven.
John Obi Mikel will be the main man controlling the midfield of the Super Eagles as the captain of the team. He was instrumental in the 2014 World Cup team, and we expect him to be the father figure in the dressing room for the Super Eagles. Obi has significantly featured alongside Ogenyi Onazi and Wilfred Ndidi in the qualification stages, and we expect this partnership to be carried on in Russia. Victor Moses has also been terrific, and he will certainly retain his spot in the starting eleven. The other midfielders that Rohr may call up include Henry Agbo, John Ogu, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa and Maarouf Youssef.
The current Nigerian side has plenty of young attacking talent although Alex Lwobi is the standout player at the moment. He has been enjoying plenty of play time at Arsenal, and he hopes to lead the other group of attackers including Odion Ighalo who recently moved from Watford to China. However, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simon, and Antony Nwakaeme will also be hoping to convince Rohr that they can play in the tournament.
Victor Moses has been instrumental for both Chelsea and Nigeria in Recent Years. He was part of the Chelsea team that won the English Premier League in the 2016-2017 season. He also played in the FA cup final match in which Chelsea lost to its London Rivals, Arsenal. He has established himself as a regular player at Stamford Bridge and was among the players who were nominated for the African Player of the Year Award.
John Obi Mikel
Obi brings the much-needed experience to this squad has featured at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He has played for big European Clubs including Chelsea where he won the English premier league under Jose Mourinho. He is an experienced midfielder who has great influence on the players both on and off the pitch.