Nigeria are already winners of the most important part of the World Cup, the honor of best kit in the World Cup. Even with the green and black chevrons grabbing your eye, don’t let that distract you from the attractive football that the Nigerian team will play with. Littered with top European club talent, Nigeria will capitalize on their immense pace and star power to hopefully escape what will be a super competitive group.
Some of the top class Nigerian players to watch for:
Ahmed Musa – The pace merchant up top got the majority of his playing time after a timely loan move to Russia from Leicester City in January this season. Joining CSKA Moscow, Musa netted a miraculous 6 goals and three assists in ten matches for the second place Russian League team. Musa will have defenders on their heels with his piercing runs and incredible speed. If Nigeria opt for a counter attack, count on Musa to be their man up top. Musa may not be a started but he can destroy a tired team as an impact sub.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Another Leicester City man, Iheanacho joined West Ham from Manchester City last summer and slowly waded into Premier League starting life but got comfortable quick. Three goals and three assists in 21 league matches isn’t all that impressive, but the 21 year old versatile attacker also added four goals in 5 FA Cup matches. Nigeria will rely on him as a big game player, as his FA Cup form suggests, and be that offensive monster he can be.
John Mikel Obi – The long serving captain of the Nigerian international team, John Mikel Obi has played in an impressive 83 games for his home nation. The 31 year old midfielder is the heartbeat of his team, and with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi (yet another Leicester player) the central midfield will be solid. If experience counts for anything, Obi can use his immense CV to support his team on and off the pitch.
Nigeria have a pretty solid chance of duking it out with the rather equal level of competition within their group. Their game will definitely rely on their speed, but play makers like Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) and Victor Moses (Chelsea) add a lot of skill to the Nigerian attack on top of their pace. They may register as a dark horse, but don’t fall asleep on this team full of burners.