Group D: Nigeria – World Cup Betting Odds & Tips
Nigeria are amongst the most recognisable of the African countries heading to the 2018 World Cup and could be a bit of an unknown quantity.
The Super Eagles made it to the round of 16 four years ago in Brazil but may have their work cut out in Group D that also includes, Argentina, Iceland and Croatia. Any team that comes through the complicated African qualifying process are a decent outfit though and they showed some pedigree in overcoming Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria in the final stage.
Although they no longer have the stars of the mid-90s such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Sunday Oliseh, they do have a cluster of talented names who ply their trade in the top leagues.
Victor Moses is likely to be given more licence to roam than at Chelsea, while Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi has emerged as a key man over the last 12 months. Captain Jon Obi Mikel, who currently plays in China with Tianjin Teda, is also influential.
They also have the likes of Leicester duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa who on their day can be electric, although they have barely featured for their clubs this season. However, with quality not entirely in abundance in other areas, it will be down to boss Gernot Rohr to mastermind their approach.
The German has done well since his appointment in August 2016 and is onto his fourth African nation after also coaching Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. Rohr is an astute manager with tactical nous, most notably guiding a reasonably average Bordeaux side to the 1996 UEFA Cup final.
Things will not be easy and it is no surprise the Nigerians are the joint 11.00 outsiders to top Group D. They begin their campaign against Croatia in Kaliningrad and are 4.00 to win, with the draw 3.40 and the European outfit 1.91.
It’s then on to Volgograd to face Iceland before rounding the pool stages off against Argentina in St Petersburg. There’s a reason the Nigerians are one of the underdogs heading into the tournament but a decent start and some good form from their attacking players could make them dangerous in Group D.