The hopes of nation will hinge on a team which has for so long, brought so much heartache. Consistently choc-full of talent the likes of; they have never gone past the second round at the FIFA World Cup.
Things are no different this time around. Manager Gernot Rohr pulled some rather astounding selections, but, for the most part, they are well equipped to make a good run at performing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament and to do so, they will rely on the performances of certain elements in particular.
Odion Ighalo has done well in the Chinese Super League this season with eight goals, same with Simy Nwankwo who bagged seven goals in the Serie A. The duo will compete for the number one striker position for the tournament, but many feel that Ighalo will be the primary choice, with Simy coming off the bench. The latter is a hybrid athlete, a 6 foot tall, well-built target man with the pace to play across the front third if absolutely necessary.
Gifted with an incredible touch, turn and speed, Ighalo is Eagles’ hope, and he may be the first to live up to it. Able to play back to goal, as well as on the last man, he allows Nigeria to change styles easily and accommodate the Pacey wingers they have selected. All of this, combined with an eye for goal, his ability to show up is key, should he fail, Nigeria will take a sizeable toll.
Another man who, along with Ighalo will bear responsibility to repeat the dose of club form is Victor Moses. Also a handy attacking option, Moses can float through the lines in the wing and pop-up in uncomfortable places for any midfield and defence to deal with.
Moses is no push-over and will provide a blend of grit and skill to the line-up which will stand them in good stead against group opponents; Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.
The positive effects of Ahmed Musa, John Obi Mikel and Alex Iwobi. Musa is blessed with speed, Mikel is the man to deliver the killer passes. The skills of Iwobi will also be a determinant.
The final key to Nigeria is Wilfred Ndidi. A standout in Leicester City’s season, Ndidi can play as a stopper in the back four, as well as a screener in front if needed. Strong and Calm on the ball, Ndidid provides a ‘Sunday Oliseh like toughness’ to the midfield.