Greece vs. Nigeria | International Friendly Preview: Road to Brazil
Another friendly in the run-up to the real thing, and this one should be interesting to US national team fans given that the Yanks will face the Nigerians this weekend in Jacksonville.
ATTACKING EAGLES: If last week's 2-2 friendly draw with Scotland is any indication, the Nigerians are planning to attack as much as possible. But it doesn't mean they'll impress. They didn't look good and would've lost if not for a stoppage-time goal from Uche Nwofor. But if they can find their rhythm, with the likes of attackers Victor Moses, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, and Peter Odemwingie, they should be fun to watch. But is it enough to break down the disciplined Greeks, who should be a good defensive approximation for their Group F opponents Bosnia-Herzegovina?
GREECE ARE SO...(YAWN). On paper a 0-0 draw against Portugal should be something the Greeks would celebrate. Except that it was an affront to the beautiful game -- a hallmark of the Greek team for years. They were staunch in defense, created few chances, and basically hope for a goal on a set piece from Kostas Mitroglu or Giorgios Samaras. But the Portuguese were missing some players (e.g., Cristiano Ronaldo), and the Nigeria's swift, powerful attack could pose some different questions for them.
Comfortably the worst game I have ever covered as Portugal draw 0-0 with Greece.
— Nicholas McGee (@nicholasmcgee24) May 31, 2014
WHERE'S OBAFEMI, ET AL.?: Nigerian manager Stephen Keshi's squad choices have raised more questions than answers, and several quality, in-form players are missing, including Villarreal's Ikechukwu Uche, Bastia's Stephane Mba, and Seattle's Obafemi Martins. A good performance on Tuesday, a day after announcing the final 23-man roster, would go a long way to putting to bed those whispers.
THE STAR YOU KNOW
- Giorgos Karagounis, center midfield, Greece. The ageless wonder -- 37 years old -- was the captain of Greece's 2004 Euro-winning side, and he's still the captain now.
THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU
- Peter Odemwingie, forward, Nigeria: He's bounced around the Premier League a bit lately, but the Stoke City attacker has the talent and skill to make an impression on any given day. He's hoping this World Cup will be his international breakout moment.