By Daniel Heinrich
Nickname: Super Eagles
World Cup appearances: 5 (Round-of-16 in 1994, 1998 and 2000)
World Ranking: 48
Coach: Gernot Rohr
Captain: John Obi Mikel
Leading goal scorer: Ahmed Musa (13)
Most capped player: John Obi Mikel (86)
Qualification path to Russia:
Nigeria’s long journey to Russia began in round 2 of the African World Cup qualifiers when they defeated Swaziland 2-0 on aggregate over a two-legged tie. In round 3 and the final stage of qualifying, the Super Eagles were drawn in Group B against Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria. Nigeria topped the group with 13 points, ensuring automatic qualification to the World Cup.
Player to watch: Victor Moses
English Premier League fans will be accustomed to seeing Moses line up as a wing-back for Chelsea. However, for Nigeria he takes up the role of a traditional winger which enables him to showcase his true attacking capabilities. Blessed with speed and exceptional skills on the ball, Moses will look to build on a strong qualifying campaign where he was Nigeria’s top goal scorer (3). He will be one of the key men going forward and will need to showcase his ability at the finals if Nigeria is to progress out of the group stage.
Now UC Predictor: Group stage
Nigeria has been given a tough draw against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland. It is difficult to see them matching these nations, particularly the depth and world-class line-ups of Argentina and Croatia. Nigeria will rely heavily on star men John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and youth prodigy Alex Iwobi if they are to push for a round-of-16 berth, which could see them come up against tournament heavyweights, France.
Thank you for your support this weekend!
— Mikel John Obi (@mikel_john_obi) June 4, 2018