Nigeria: Who to watch out for against England
Nigeria step up their World Cup preparations against England at Wembley this weekend.
Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has discarded almost all of the squad that disappointed four years ago. Now they have a united and genuinely exciting team.
This should be a good test for the Three Lions, who are 2/5 favourites. We’ve taken a look at three Nigeria players who could cause problems for Gareth Southgate’s side…
English fans will already be well aware of Victor Moses. But he’s almost a different player for his country than he is for Chelsea.
Antonio Conte has moulded the 27-year-old into a very effective wing-back over the last two years. Moses has played a key role in the Blues’ Premier League and FA Cup wins during that time. But he sacrifices a lot of his natural flair.
He operates much higher up the pitch on the right of a front three at international level. That allows him to make full use of his speed and skill when running at defenders. He’s 5/1 to score at Wembley.
John Obi Mikel
Former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel is the captain and elder statesman of this Nigeria side.
But while he was a holding midfielder in West London, the 31-year-old has much more freedom to show off his creativity for Nigeria.
His passing helps Nigeria to play on the front foot and get their attacking players involved. England will want to mark him tightly to minimise his influence.
Opposition midfielders will be in for a tough time when they come up against Wilfred Ndidi. The Leicester City man won more tackles in the Premier League than any other player last season (138).
International football tends to be played at a slower pace than top-level club football. Ndidi’s dynamism will really stand out on Saturday and in Russia.
Whoever Southgate selects to play behind Harry Kane will have to find a way to evade his attention.
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