The Nigerian and Argentinian national football teams battle each other in Russian today (14th Nov 2017) as preparations for the World Cup showpiece in Russia continues. Both teams have qualified and will use this match to test their readiness.
Here are give things we should expect from the encounter
1. Debuts for Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho: Uzoho, 19, who currently plays club football for La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna stands at an incredible 196cm and already tipped for a great future following some fine displays for his Spanish club in his breakthrough season. Amkar Perm star, Brian Idowu is the latest addition to the Super Eagles and he will feel more at home because he is based in Russia and speaks the language fluently.
2. Mikel To Stabilize: Mikel will be vital against Argentina. He will need to control the game and not allow the duo of Ever Banega and Eduardo Salvio run the show from the middle.
3. Ogu to continue his solid form: Hapoel Beer Sheva’s midfield maestro, John Ogu has been playing the best football of his career in the last three seasons. After injuries kept Onazi and Agu out of the Algerian match with Mikel Obi rested – he was handed a rare chance in the starting XI and he grabbed his chance with a Match-of-the-Match display and capped his brilliant show with a spectacular finish from almost 35yards.
4. Dybala to fill in for Messi: The 23-year-old is regarded as the future of Argentinean football and he has begun the 2017/18 season in blistering form, scoring 11 times in 12 Serie A matches before the international break. Dybala is likely to operate behind Sergio Aguero and provide a quality test for the Super Eagles ‘Oyinbo wall’ Leon Balogun and William Ekong.
5. Eagles squad depth: Going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Nigeria will require a solid 23-man team, so squad depth will be important. Against Argentina, fringe players like Henry Onyekuru, Kayode Olarenwaju, Chidozie Awaziem, Tyronne Ebuehi, Uche Agbo, and Kenneth Omeuro may get their chance to impress the manager, Gernot Rohr.