WorldCupAcca Confirmed Squad:
Keeper: I. Ezenwa, D. Akpeyi, F. Uzoho
Defence: W. Ekong, L. Balogun, O. Aina, K. Omeruo, B. Idowu, U. Agbo, C. Awaziem, A. Shehu, E. Echiejile, T. Ebuehi, S. Eze
Midfield: J. Mikel, O. Onazi, J. Ogu, W. Ndidi, U. Agbo, O. Etobo, J. Obi, M, Agu
Forward: O. Ighalo, A. Musa, V. Moses, A. Iwobi, K. Ihenacho, M. Simon, J. Lokosa. S. Nwankwo
Nigeria have competed in 5 of the last 6 World Cups reaching the round of 16 on 3 occasions and finishing bottom of their group twice – in 2002 and 2010.
Nigeria are an interesting proposition, comfortably winning their qualifying group which also featured Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria – the only game they “lost” was for fielding an ineligible player away to Algeria, the match actually finished 1-1 but Algeria were later awarded a 3-0 victory.
They also beat Argentina 4-2 in a recent friendly and made a very good showing in the second half of their match against England at Wembley in their most recent friendly, while they look a little suspect at the back, in particular their goalkeeper – they can cause problems going forward.
They still have the best kit this year and that’s the real quiz.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
Following Vincent Enyeama’s departure from international football and Carl Ikeme’s leukemia diagnosis. Nigeria initially opted for, Ikechukwu Ezenwa but appear to have lost faith in him and instead have plumped for 19-year-old Francis Uzoho to start in Nigeria’s recent friendlies. The youngster overcame a nervy start to keep Robert Lewandowski at bay as Poland were beaten, but with only 180 minutes of La Liga football under his belt with Deportivo La Coruna, the inexperienced Uzoho is in danger of being exposed in Russia.
Many of the older players who had underachieved for Nigeria in the past have found themselves out of favour and they now have fairly young squad but they have some talented players at their disposal – most notably Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi as well as other, more experienced key players Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses.
They will most likely line up playing 4-3-3; Aina – Troost-Ekong – Balogun – Echiejile will be the expected back four with Ndidi, Mikel and Onazi playing centrally in midfield.
Moses, Ighalo and Iwobi should start as the attacking options and will look to cause trouble with their strong, quick direct running at the opposition and trying to get in behind with their pace.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
While I don’t see them as genuine contenders this year, Argentina they will most likely still win this win Group D, though it may not be plain sailing. The obvious strength for them is the attacking talents they have in abundance but the other areas of the squad really let them down though, there will also be question marks over their mentality coming into the tournament as well, having lost 3 major finals on the spin.
Croatia are capable of causing any side problems on their day and possess some fine players in the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic and of course Luka Modric in midfield.
Add Mario Mandzukic up front who has proven himself to be a real handful for many top European teams at club level during his spells with Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid & Juventus. Though they will most likely have to settle for second place in this group they could give the Argentines a run for their money.
World Cup debutants Iceland make up the group and will be hoping to show a similar showing to their fantastic display 2 years ago at Euro 2016. They won what was on paper a very tight qualifying group with the likes of Turkey, Ukraine and even Croatia themselves to make the tournament this time round.
It’s very unlikely they will be able to make it out of this group but here’s to hoping for some more Viking Thunder Claps.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group D Fixtures / Results
|Spartak Stadium, Spartak Stadium – June 16, 2018 4:00 pm|
|Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad – June 16, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod – June 21, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Volgograd Stadium, Volgograd – June 22, 2018 6:00 pm|
|Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – June 26, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don – June 26, 2018 9:00 pm|
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