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World Cup: Nigeria v Bosnia

 

 

 

 

Nigeria Screenshot 2014-05-28 08.08.34

• Must improve on a disappointing 0-0 draw where they struggled to break down Iran.
• Change in central defence likely with Oboabona struggling with injury and Yobo expected to replace him.
• Nigeria will need a more open approach from Bosnia is they are to utilise their counter attacking strengths.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

Oboabona – CB – 10%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Team News

 

Central defender Godfrey Oboabona picked up an injury in the Iran match which forced him off during the first half. He failed to train with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and at this stage seems very unlikely to be fit to play this game. The experienced Joseph Yobo, who replaced him during the Iran match is expected to take his place in the centre of defence.

After what was a poor attacking performance against Iran there is the chance they may make changes, though due to the fact Bosnia aren’t expected to play similar defensive tactics to Iran the personnel may not vary too much.

Moses was taken off early in the second half which was quite surprising as he did look like one of the players who may make something positive happen but the coach opted to go more direct using Ameobi. Moses is likely to be back in from the start of this game with his pace on the counter attack valuable.

With more incisiveness needed from the centre of the pitch this might be where an alteration is made Odemwingie coming in for Azeez could be the change with a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The coach actually said he was disappointed with Odemwingie not entirely playing to instruction though so don’t be surprised if Azeez does start again.

Bench (from): Agbim GK, Ejide GK, Egwuekwe CB, Kunle CB, Oboabona CB, Gabriel CM, Azeez CM, Babatunde LM, Uzoenyi LW, Ameobi ST, Nwofor ST, Uchebo ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Nigeria were well shut down by Iran in their previous match. Although they saw plenty of possession the inventiveness and creativity was lacking. Nigeria’s higher possession of the ball was as much down to the Iran tactics and failure themselves to keep control of the ball. They are much more comfortable capitalising on breaking up play and breaking quickly something that needs to happen in this game if they are to improve.
  •   The defence of Nigeria wasn’t really tested against Iran though they still needed a good save from Enyeama in the first half. The Nigerian keeper is a key player in this team, his reflexes and handling gives confidence to the players ahead of him.
  •   If as expected they are without Oboabona through injury this would be a blow to the team. His physicality is a big asset and against Dzeko they may be heavily tested from crosses into the penalty area.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 Picking up only a point in the Iran match, which was the game they saw as the easiest in the group was deflating to Nigeria and puts pressure on them to beat Bosnia, especially as they face Argentina in their final game.

 An improved offensive performance is demanded after the lack of creativity in the opening game. 

Bosnia Screenshot 2014-05-28 07.54.34

• Will be in high spirits after a good performance against Argentina despite the defeat. • Salihović continues to struggle with injury and unlikely to start.
• Ibišević should come in as Bosnia play a slightly more attacking line up.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

Salihović – LB/CM – 20%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-4-2)

Team News

Bench (from): Avdukić GK, Fejzić GK, Vršajević RB, Šunjić CB, Vranješ CB, Sušić DM, Hadžić CM, Medunjanin CM/DM/AM, Salihović LB/CM, Višća RW, Ibričić AM, Misimović CM/AM

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Bosnia were excellent defensively, dealing with Argentina’s slow build up and keeping their shape well. Nigeria are likely to put more crosses into the middle against them but Spahic and Bičakčić were both excellent in the air and should be able to deal with this threat.
  •   Bosnia were slightly wary of getting their central midfield players into advanced attacking areas, with Dzeko isolated and the additional threat coming from Lulic and Hajrović in the wide areas. With Ibišević as an additional striker they should be more potent going forward.
  •   Pjanić and Bešić were able to control the tempo of the game against Argentina in the 1st half with some excellent ball retention and may frustrate Nigeria with their patient build up.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 With Argentina very likely to beat Iran in the earlier kick off Bosnia know that a defeat could send them home. They will want to avoid this but will see a draw as a result which also leaves them as favourites to progress.

 

Group F – Game 2
Nigeria (39) v Bosnia Herzegovina (17) Saturday 21st June 17:00 BST

Whichever side wins this game will become strong favourites to join Argentina in the knockout stage and based on the first round of matches, Bosnia Herzegovina are rightly odds-on favourites. Although they lost 2-1 against Argentina, they matched them in many departments and only when Argentina introduced substitutes and changed their formation in the second half did they look stretched. A draw may well suffice for Bosnia as they are far more likely to get a result against Iran in the final game than Nigeria who face Argentina.

Current African Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria, were clearly frustrated by Iran but they lacked the ability to break them down and that shouldn’t have been a surprise given their 1-1 draws in qualification against lowly Kenya, Malawi and Namibia. What should be remembered is that many of the current squad are not regular starters in their respective domestic leagues and we’d expect them to improve during the tournament.

Nigeria have not won a World Cup game since 1998 in nine attempts and they’ve lost four of six competitive games against teams ranked 11-30 since 2008, with four of the matches also having at least three goals. Four years ago at a similar stage, they lost to Greece following a narrow defeat to Argentina in the opener and four of their last five games against UEFA opposition have had at least three goals.

There’s little to go on with Bosnia when it comes to major finals because they are the debutants at the ball. Recent debutants, such as Slovakia, South Korea and Ghana have all progressed to the knockout stage and Bosnia will have a very good chance of doing so if they win this match. On the evidence of their recent internationals, this game is unlikely to end all-square – only one of their last 24 matches has been drawn. They’ve won 13 and lost 10 of those matches but have won six of their last eight competitive games. Nine of their last 12 competitive matches have had at least three goals.

Edin Dzeko has scored in 25 of his 61 internationals and in eight has scored at least twice and that includes his last three scoring matches. He’s around even money to score anytime in this match and about 6/1 to score two or more. However his aerial threat will be diminished as the Africans boast as many as seven players over 180cm tall.

 

Recommendation:

Bosnia to win and both teams to score at $4.0 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.52.51

 

 

Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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