Nigeria’s Super Eagles will lock horn with Iceland in a make or mar cracker for their second Group D match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup holding in Russia.
Iceland and Nigeria come into this game off the back of contrasting performances and results. The Viking’s dogged performance against group favourites Argentina has been highly praised and earned them a deserved point. Nigeria, meanwhile, were poor as they were comfortably dispatched by Croatia. If the Eagles are to stand any chance of qualifying, they will need to be much improved in Volgograd. Focus has been on the encounter with the Euro 2016 quarter finalists since the Super Eagles 2-0 loss to Croatia in their opening match on Saturday, as victory against the feisty Scandinavians will renew hope for a place in the knockout rounds while defeat would mean early and unflattering elimination from the global soccer showpiece.
Coach Gernot Rohr told newsmen on Wednesday ahead of the match that he had been drawn to a plethora of suggestions in the media space on best formations, patterns and appropriate player-position-cum-strength postulations following the reverse against Croatia, but that he knows what is best for the team and will deploy same, today.
“We have watched the game against Croatia again to see our mistakes so that we can correct them. It will be a tough game. We have to be at our best and be more professional with our defending especially from set-pieces.
“We have to be fully focused and not lose concentration all through the game. I believe with hard work we can get a good result. In truth, there is no need to add to the pressure we have now. More pressure on the team will not necessarily translate to better results.”
Captain Mikel Obi, widely analyzed not to have functioned effectively in the advanced midfield role against the Croats, said he would be ready to feature in any position for the team as determined by the coach.
“I am ready to play in any position the coach wants me to play. I am comfortable with either role: offensive or defensive. The most important thing is the team.”
Today’s win-or-bust situation is expected to bring the best out of this new generation, with victory guaranteed to be a statement of strong mentality and capacity for turning around adversity, which would do career progression and equity at national team and club levels no harm.
Thenff.com report that all players in camp are fully fit, meaning Coach Rohr is presented with an opportunity to pick among all 23 players, and to cobble together the combination and formation that he believes will best guarantee victory.
Meanwhile, with Argentina to come in their final group game, a win is essential if Nigeria are to stand any chance of qualification. Manager Gernot Rohr has experimented with several formations since taking over in 2016 and could change from the 4-2-3-1 used against Iceland. Rohr used 3-5-2 in the friendly win against Argentina in November and could opt for this in an attempt to provide more attacking options.
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