Plucky North Korea have the energy to clip Super Eagles’ wings

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Nigeria v North Korea, kick-off Sunday 2.00pm

North Korea haven’t won in six matches and have just three victories from 13, but in their last friendly they held Greece to a 2-2 draw and Kim Jong-Hun’s side can do the same here.

For a start North Korea, ranked 105th in the world, have a surprisingly solid defence, not conceding more than two in a match since 4-1 defeat by Zambia 11 games ago. That run includes games against Paraguay, Mexico and South Africa, who they drew 0-0 with.

Indeed, the result against Greece was no fluke – they twice pegged back the side ranked 13th in the world, with 26-year-old star striker Tae Se Jong grabbing both to take his tally to 14 goals in 21 internationals.

Nigeria, 21st in FIFA’s rankings, on the other hand have been consistent if not spectacular performers recently, having won four of their last eight and losing only once during that time.

However, they have only scored more than a single goal once in their last six games while Yakubu, the highest international scorer in the squad, hasn’t hit the back of the net since scoring a penalty in the first half of their second African Cup of Nations match against Benin.

That’s why it may be a clever bet to go for a draw in this game – it’s 5/2. Such is Korea’s propensity for counter-attacking play it is likely they’ll invite the Super Eagles to come forward but Kim’s sound defensive tactics may take time to break down.

Don’t be surprised to see the North Koreans take the lead in this game – Nigeria have struggled to score in the first 45-minutes of games, doing so only once in their last six opening halves. Taking an Away/Draw in the Half-time/Full-time market could prove valuable at 25/1.

Likewise a 1-1, which is priced at a generous 11/2.

Can North Korea keep proving the doubters wrong? See the full Nigeria v North Korea betting market.

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