16, June 2018
All of Africa will be rooting for Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Saturday as they take on European side Croatia in the opening game of the ‘official’ 2018 World Cup of Death, Group D.
Nigeria who will be fielding the youngest team at the World Cup have had scandal free preparations in the camp, but have been the center of all headlines, thanks to their fashionable jersey and off-the-pitch outfits.
Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr said on Friday that the team is ‘physically and mentally ready’ for the opening game at the Kaliningrad Stadium, adding that he hopes to get support from the hosts Russia.
Nigeria’s World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo Coruna)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion), Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag), Elderson Echiejiole (Cercle Brugge), Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa), Abdullahi Shehu, William Ekong Troost (both Bursaspor)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Joel Obi (Torino), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor)
Forwards: Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Simoen Nwankjwo (Crotone).
Croatia’s World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Argentina vs Iceland
Lionel Messi’s Argentina will be taking on the adored European side, Iceland who were the surprise package at Euro 2016.
Argentina’s coach Jorge Sampaoli has already named his starting eleven for the game, choosing to go with the potenet attacking duo of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
Argentina starting XI: Willy Caballero, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Meza, Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero.
France Vs Australia
In Group C, 1998 world champions France will be taking on Australia and expectations will be weighing heavy on this generation of Frenchmen to replicate the success of their heroes, whose captain Didier Deschamps is back at the World Cup as the coach.
Featuring players like Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Athletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezman, France are not only group favorites, many fancy them to go all the way and lift the trophy.
Peru vs Denmark
Both teams will play with an unwritten script that they says they are fighting for the second spot in Group C along with Australia.
Peru have been buoyed by news that their all time scorer Paolo Guerrero is fit to start for them in the game aginst Denmark after being freed from a doping ban.
Guerrero missed the play-offs against New Zealand after he tested positive for a cocaine byproduct contained in a tea.
Source: Africa News