Nigeria is a fast and powerful team that is coming off the African Cup of Nations, but has had issues in their own football federation and that has hindered the squad playing as a team. Still, the offense is there and while they have a solid keeper the defense is the big issue. They are in a tough group that has 2 other teams that have a better attack than they do and that is a big concern. Nigeria has the 3rd best odds to win their group and is a big time long shot to win the whole tournament.
Nigeria is in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iran. While Nigeria has a legit offense and issues on defense so do Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina while Iran is a more defensive squad. It is vital that they take 3 points from Iran in their World Cup opener and if they don’t they could be in big trouble right away. The next match facing Bosnia and Herzegovina may be the big one, as if they lose and then have to beat Argentina in the group finale they are in for a tall task, which is a major understatement.
Odds to win World Cup: +25000
Odds to win Group: +900
Odds to finish bottom of group: +300
Best World Cup Finish: Last 16 (1994, 1998)
World Cup Match Schedule
16/06/14 Iran vs. Nigeria – Arena da Baixada
21/06/14 Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina – Arena Pantanal
25/06/14 Nigeria vs. Argentina – Estadio Beira-Rio
In World Cup qualifying Nigeria beat Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate in the playoffs after winning their African group. They ended the process well winners of 3 of their last 4 matches and overall they did not beat. While they were not playing great teams their defense did come up with 2 clean sheets in their last 3 matches. In every single qualifying match they scored a goal and they ended with a record of 7-0-3.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The attacking strength of Nigeria comes from their 2 star players in the Chelsea midfield duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses. Moses is one of the up and coming while Mikel is the veteran. While these 2 will be pressing forward they cannot get out of position, as they are susceptible to the counter-attack. The defenders are concerns, but they do have a solid keeper in Lille’s Vincent Enyeama. The squad was a resilient one in qualifying coming through and taking points from several matches when they gave up the lead.Comments Off