With the World Cup set to kick off in just two-week time, England and Nigeria are set to grab the momentum by getting the results in the upcoming warm-up friendlies.
Whilst Saturday’s tie at Wembley will be the first of two checks for the Three Lions, Nigeria have already been in action on Monday playing only a disappointing 1-1 draw to continental rivals Congo DR.
Bouncing back after such a poor showing will be quite a challenging task for Gernot Rohr and his men.
The likes of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho are likely to feature in that front-line during the match along with Odion Ighalo or Simy Nwankwo as the centre-forward.
Nigeria have mainly relied on a fluid 4-3-3 formation for the last year and a half, they are unlikely to revert to 4-4-2 diamond or 4-2-3-1 just because they have the personnel to conquer big things with that fluid 4-3-3 formation.
The Super Eagles have a dynamic and fluid midfield. John Obi Mikel and Wilfred Ndidi are formidable. Addition of pace in the flanks and a physical centre-forward will help the team.
Moses and Musa will inject needed pace and directness in the forward play, Simy will be helpful in adding the physical strength in which Nigeria may lack a bit.
Having said all that, Gernot Rohr’s problem lie on the defensive part of things, most of his trusted soldiers are injury prone.
Let’s take a look at how Nigeria could lineup through the tactics board:
Ndidi is expected to start and continue his rich vein of form, he’s fresh from a good season for Leicester City in the English Premier League. His ability to add dynamism to the midfield by accurate tackles and fast-paced counters makes him one of the best in the business. His ball retention percentage is right up there, sitting in-front of the back four and controlling the game from is something remarkable.
His midfield partners are most likely to be Mikel and Onazi, both have different attributes to their games, Mikel a more physical and more creative of all the midfielders in the team, the Tianjin Teda man can take on defenders but his ability to pick out long passes and cut the opposition defence with threading passes makes him one to look out for this time around. Onazi has directness in his armoury.
Moses is a man to watch at a familiar terrain. His mobility and trickery will add something special to the Eagles’ chemistry.
Iwobi will be playing from that right wing area cutting inside with the left foot of his, he will be well supported by the creativeness of Mikel in that side, Shehu Abdullahi will provide overlaps for the Arsenal forward to sandwich himself in between the centre-back and fullback.
Francis Uzoho will be hoping to cement his status as the undisputed number one goalkeeper of the Eagles.
The quartet of Abdullahi, Leon Balogun, William Troost Ekong and Brian Idowu are sure bets to start at the back.