Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina come into their game on Saturday desperately needing a win. While Bosnia-Herzegovina lost their first game against mighty Argentina, Nigeria only one got one point from supposed group bottom-feeders Iran. Look for both teams to come out with their hair on fire trying to get the three points.
SUSIC COMPLIMENTARY: The Super Eagles did not play very well against Iran, a game in which three points seemed essential, given the quality of the other two teams in the group. But Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic, for one, is not counting Nigeria out. “Nigeria know how to play, and they can play much better,” Susic said ahead of the match. As for his own team Susic said, “I think I may change the squad, but it depends on the situation. Our players will train in different formations and combinations.”
KESHI MOVING ON: Nigeria are now winless in their last nine World Cup matches, the longest such run of any team in the tournament. Their coach, Stephen Keshi, said he felt his team was hit by nerves in the opener: “The boys were nervous and unsettled; you don't do that at this stage. It happens in football. We really didn't perform as expected, but we have to move on.” Fans across the world will hope they move on too, since the Iran game was one of the worst of the tournament.
HEAVY HEARTS: In one of the worst stories of the World Cup, many Nigerians were killed by a suicide bomber at a World Cup viewing venue on Tuesday. The number of casualties has not been confirmed, but even one is too many. The Nigerians may be thinking about the young men killed when they take the field.
IBISEVIC STARTING?: As mentioned above, Susic will think about making some changes to his squad for the Nigeria game. One of those changes could be the introduction of Vedad Ibisevic into the starting lineup. The former Saint Louis University Billiken scored against Argentina after coming off the bench. Ibisevic scored eight goals during qualifying.
THE STAR YOU KNOW
- Edin Dzeko, forward, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- The Bosnian Diamond only got off one shot against Argentina, but he should be more lively against Nigeria, possibly joined up front by Ibisevic.
THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU
- Emmanuel Emenike, forward, Nigeria -- The 27-year-old forward was largely quiet against Iran, taking just two shots, but he did score 12 goals for Fenerbahce in 2013-14.