Nigeria – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Stephen Keshi
Captain: Vincent Enyeama
FIFA World Ranking: 41
World Cup Appearances: 4
Best World Cup: Round of 16; 1994 & 1998
Nigeria Team Profile
Nicknamed the Super Eagles, Nigeria will arrive in Brazil feeling pretty good about their chances as well, as after strolling through qualifying. They will be buoyant after winning the 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations and they will think that they are back on the track to being the dominant powerhouse in Africa.
However, Nigeria tend to disappoint whenever the make the finals of a World Cup, you can’t really go too far wrong in terms of pleasing the adoring fans back home in Nigeria. So long as Nigeria don’t finish bottom of their group, they shouldn’t go home too disgraced. They are in a competitive group, and there remains a good opportunity for Nigeria to bypass the group stage of the competition for just the third time. They go up against Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. They key games will be between the Super Eagles and the latter two, with Argentina expected to top the group easily.
Win both of those and fans back home will enter into party mode. Bookmakers aren’t seeing them as any particular big threat though in 2014 World Cup betting. After all their ups and downs, player fall outs and claims that the manager has been paid in a couple of years, it’s a testament to their spirit that they are back to have another shot on the world stage.
Nickname: Super Eagles
Nigeria Key Players
John Obi Mikel, who has had a chequered history with the national side has suddenly become the key player in the midfield for the Nigerians. He is the defensive rock that holds everything together in there, but as Chelsea fans will know, he is not a dynamic player who offers a lot in any other area of the game. He doesn’t score, he doesn’t drive forward and you won’t even see him making a lot of forward passes. Still, Keshi believes in him a lot, so he will have to perform.
Liverpool’s Victor Moses has the ability to open up defences with his pace and power on the wing and veteran goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama is an important and familiar figure between the sticks. But Nigeria need to find goals from somewhere and there are two key players in that department. Chivo’s Victor Obinna has 12 goals in 48 national appearances, while Fenerbahce’s Emmanuel Emenike is a promising young talent and has netted nine in 21 appearances for the Super Eagles. The African nation will need them to be on their toes and sharp.
An abundance of pace and strength are what Nigeria have to offer but what they boast in physical stature they lack in technical ability and tactical know-how. They will show plenty of endeavour and enthusiasm on the pitch but that won’t equate into a successful run I’m afraid. However, they can counter-attack at a rate of knots and will pose a threat on the break. This is especially so as the vast majority of their big talent is up front, with Obinna and Emenike, it’s just about the service and the regularity of them striking.
Head coach Stephen Keshi is a polarizing figure. He is a no-nonsense figure who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. That has let to some unrest in the Nigerian camp before and players have fallen out with him. Another worry is Nigeria’s tendency to disappoint in World Cup’s, and while they do have every chance of staying competitive in Group F, an early slip up and it could be curtains for the Nigerians, who finished bottom of their group in their previous World Cup appearance back in South Africa 2010.
Nigeria Qualification for the World Cup
Nigeria coasted through their qualification process and then beat Ethiopia 4-1 in the play off round. That was after going unbeaten in their initial group stage. They didn’t return as many goals as expected there though. It was all pretty routine for them in the end and build on from their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations success.
World Cup Potential: 2/5
We think it’s safe to say that Nigeria won’t be winning the summers showcase event but they could be a decent punt to progress from their group at the expense of Bosnia and Iran. Like most African nations the Nigerians are a strong side in physical stature, but they are also a agile bunch who can get around the field at some pace. However, their lack of world class quality is a huge negative and they’ll do well to qualify for Round 2, which would be seen as a worthy achievement back home.
They have some players with experience, with many in the Nigerian squad plying their trade all across Europe, but classy individuals are few and far between and we think every victory, if any, will be celebrated just as emphatically as if they won the tournament itself by the natives back home… but winning the World Cup is out of the question.
Nigeria World Cup Betting Odds
Nigeria to win the World Cup (Outright Odds): 250/1 PaddyPower
Before the World Cup the odds on Nigeria were 250/1
Argentina World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group F
|Su 15th June||23.00||Argentina v Bosnia||2:1|
|Su 15th June||20.00||Iran v Nigeria||0:0|
|Mo 16th June||17.00||Argentina v Iran||1:0|
|Sa 21st June||23.00||Nigeria v Bosnia||1:0|
|We 25th June||17.00||Nigeria v Argentina||2:3|
|We 25th June||17.00||Bosnia v Iran||3:1|
World Cup 2014 Group F Table