2018 FIFA WORLD CUP PREVIEW:: Will the Super Eagles be able to stop the semi-professionals from Island?

2018-fifa-world-cup-preview-will-the-super-eagles-be-able-to-stop-the-semi-professionals-from-islandIf the World Cup is decided on sartorial elegance rather than football ability, Nigeria would have already been in the finals.

The Super Eagles are rife with young talent, like Alex Iwobi,Walter Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho et al.

The aforementioned names send shrills down the spine of opponents but unfortunately in their first game against Croatia, Gernot Rohr’s charges played with diffidence for most part of the game hence their loss 2-0 to the Luka Modric led team.

They looked devoid of ideas throughout the match and they were unable to create anything to trouble the Croatian defense. In many respects it looked as though the occasion got the better of the players

With Argentina’s loss to Croatia yesterday, the group is widely open and Nigeria could sneak through as runner-up but must first deal with a resilient Iceland side later today- they will have to make sure they improve their level of performance to be able to outscore their opponents who didn’t wither when they came up against the star studded Argentina team.

They put in a typically resolute and organized performance to deny Argentina victory. This may be the first time in their history that Island will not be coming into a match as the underdogs.

Nigeria were dreadful against Croatia, and Iceland may not have to perform to the best of their abilities to get a result.

In Gylfi Sigurdson, Alfred Finnbogason and goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, coach Strakarnir Okkar has the men to do the do for him and possibly advance to the Last 16 in their maiden World Cup Appearance.

Unlike Island, the Super Eagles have reached five separate tournaments and have subsequently qualified for the last 16 on three of those five occasions-but have never gone any further.

Their most impressive tournament was their first in 1994 where they won two of their three group matches and were then beaten in extra time by eventual finalists Italy in the first knockout round. Have the Eagles the wherewithal to edge past the resilient Iceland? Time will surely tell.

Probable Line-ups
Nigeria(4-2-3-1): Uzoho, Idowu, Balogun, Ekon, Shehu, Etebo, Ndidi, Iwobi, Mikel, Moses, Ighalo
Iceland(4-4-1-1): Halldorsson, Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson, Bjarnson, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gislason, Sigurdson, Finnbogason.2018-06-22 12:39:44Afcon

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Frank Darkwah

Ghanaian Sports Journalist who specializes in Sports Photography and Sports writing. Accredited CAF and FIFA photo journalist

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