Russia 2018: Nigeria under the spotlight

By Mutala Yakubu
Nigeria will be at Russia 2018
Nigeria will be at Russia 2018

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, are one of the African representatives at this year's Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

With just 14 days to go, the Super Eagles are preparing to give off their best in Russia 2018.

The Super Eagles are currently 47th in the FIFA world rankings the lowest of their opponents in Group D, Argentina (5th), Croatia (18th) and Iceland (22nd).


Gernot Rohr will coach Nigeria at the Russia 2018

Nigeria are been coached by Gernot Rohr a German manager and former footballer, he qualified the team in spectacular fashion.

The World Cup in Russia will be Nigeria's sixth after qualifying for 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, and 2014.

Star players

Nigeria boasts of some of the best African players currently. They have former Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi as their captain.

Mikel Obi currently plays for Chinese side Tianjin Teda and is one of the most experienced players in the squad.

Chelsea's Victor Moses, on the other hand, perhaps has more x-factor.

Victor Moses will be highly needed by Nigeria at Russia 2018

Naturally a forward, Moses has constantly been played by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as a right-winger.

His versatility will be greatly needed at Russia 2018.

Read also:2018 FIFA World Cup: Here's an overview of the African Countries representing the continent

Perhaps the two-star men expected to shine for Nigeria in the World Cup are Arsenal's Alex Iwobi and Leicester City's Kalechi Iheanacho.

The best thing about them

Iheanacho and Iwobi will be key for Nigeria in Russia 2018

Composure and solidity in midfield, plus direct running up front from Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho, suggests a team that could cause trouble on the breaks.

They have the most vibrant fanbase in Africa, their fans can sing for 90 minutes whether their team is losing all not.

The worst thing about them

With the exception of Elderson Echiéjilé, the defensive players are young and raw. Few have big-time experience.

Here is Nigeria's full 25-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United)

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC); Leon Balogun (Mainz); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas); John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva); Joel Obi (Torino FC), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal); Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (Crotone).

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