Posted by News Express | 21 June 2014 | 2,844 times
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are upbeat about tonight’s crucial clash against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba, Brazil.
Coach Stephen Keshi and his wards have insisted the team will put up a much more improved display than they did against Iran in the first group game, fully aware that nothing but the three points will be good enough if they are to have any chance of advancing to the second round.
Midfielder John Obi Mikel insists the game against Iran is gone and the team must now concentrate on the Bosnia match as well as Argentina, whom the Super Eagles will meet in their last Group F game.
Bosnia come into this game on the back of a 2-1 loss to Argentina on their World Cup debut, and they will be hard pressed to get points on board as they are currently placed last in Group F with no point after the first round of matches.
The Blue Dragons put up a spirited display against the much fancied Albiceleste with Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic leading the line for the Bosnians, who held Argentina for long periods of the game and nearly got a point after Vedad Ibisevic's late goal nearly conjured a comeback.
Safet Susic will lead his charges against Nigeria to get their 2014 World Cup campaign going with a decent shift and will look to clip Nigeria’s wings.
Nigeria picked up a point against Iran in their first group game, but the Super Eagles barely stumbled over the line in an uninspiring display against Iran, who are supposedly the weakest team in the group.
Keshi came under heavy criticism for his team’s rag tag display against Iran, which elongated Nigeria’s eight game winless streak at the global football fiesta. He will look forward to erasing that somber record with a good win over Bosnia.
Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina have never met each other at any level. Bosnia, making their World Cup debut in Brazil, are a breakaway republic from the Old Yugoslavia. This will be the first-ever encounter between the two sides.
First choice centre-back Godfrey Oboabona is a major doubt for the game against Bosnia. The Caykur Rizespor defender was injured in the game against Iran and scans revealed he will miss the game with the Bosnians.
Apart from Oboabona, Keshi has a full complement of his squad available for him to select from.
Keshi might also give Stoke City striker, Peter Odemwingie, his first start, alongside Emmanuel Emenike in attack as he revamp his attack line
Bosnia-Herzegovina face a race against time to get team captain, Emir Spahic, fit for the game. The tall defender left Wednesday’s training session with an ice pack on his knee and might face a late fitness test to see if he can make the team for the game.
Midfielder Sejad Salihovic is another doubt for the game. Vedad Ibisevic, who got Bosnia's only goal against Argentina, is tipped to start alongside Edin Dzeko as the Blue Dragons go all out to get a win.
Nigeria goalkeeper and deputy skipper, Vincent Enyeama, said: “I was on holidays for most part of the game against Iran, but it would definitely be different against Bosnia, but I’m ready.
“I know the team has a more vibrant attack (than Iran) and won’t sit back like Iran did against us. The team will come at us and just like us, the team needs the game to forge ahead.
“A goalkeeper can always keep his team in a game and that is what I will do against Bosnia.
“I am looking forward to this game.”
•Partly based on a SuperSport report. Photo shows Super Eagles safe hands Vincent Enyeama, who has declared readiness to stop Bosnia-Herzegovina’s dreaded strikers in tonight’s battle of Cuiaba, Brazil.
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