Nigeria qualified for the Russia 2018 with a game to spare in the Qualification phase. Astonishingly, they were the first African side to qualify for the 2018 edition of the world cup. The Super Eagles will be making their 6th world cup appearance and 3rd consecutive appearance since missing the 2006 edition. Moreover, the super eagles reached the round of 16 for the 3rd time in the 2014 edition that took place in Brazil.
Despite the stainless qualification campaign, Nigeria have experienced a balanced fortune in 3 pre-world cup friendly, losing to England, Serbia, sharing points with DR Congo, and enjoying a welcome 1-0 win over Poland. They still have Czech Republic to play before their first world cup game in Russia.
The current crop of Super Eagles’ team is a blend of young talent seasoned with few experience players.
Nigeria have never made it past the round of 16, and this generation of Super Eagles will hope to attain that height, but Nigeria must first battle Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland in the group.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi is one great asset for the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Despite the 21 years old forward below par performance for Arsenal in the just concluded season, his ability can never be underrated in the national team.
Mikel Obi is the most experienced player in the team. The former Chelsea player is renowned for his timely tackle and pinpoint pass.
Ahmed Musa has the highest number of goals among current active strikers in the super eagles. The CSKA Moscow forward pace and high spirit would be crucial to the Super Eagles outing in the world cup.
The History of Nigeria at the World Cup
The super eagles waited until 1994 to make their first world cup appearance. However, this is their 6th world cup appearance since and made it past the group stage in 3 editions.
Best: Round of 16 Appearances at 2014, 1998 and 1994.
The Final Verdict
This Nigerian team has the potential to upset the odds in Group D. As mentioned often these days, this is a tricky pool, but Nigeria can be considered as even favorites with Croatia to secure the second spot.
Nigeria’s final 2018 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba, Nigeria), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Brighton, England), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey), Elderson Echiejille (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica, Portugal)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda, China), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey), John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheba, Israel) Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Oghenekaro Etebo (Feirense, Portugal) Joel Obi (Torino, Italy)
Forwards: Odion Jude Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China), Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England), Victor Moses (Chelsea, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone, Italy)