2014 World Cup Preview: Nigeria vs. Iran
The second match of Group F brings a unique opportunity for Iran and Nigeria as three points would mean a move into second place behind Argentina. These nations are unknowns on the World Cup stage, so the odds are leaning toward a draw. Nigeria has more recognizable players, but that doesn’t ensure victory. This match should hang in the balance for most of the game with audiences uncertain of the outcome.
Nigeria has a good attack with Peter Odemwingie back in the fold. He will work with Victor Moses hoping to keep the Super Eagles unbeaten against Iran. John Obi Mikel is the other big name expected to start for Nigeria. They are not without injuries, though. Monaco left-back Elderson Echiejile left with a torn hamstring injury in a friendly against Greece. This means the defense will be anchored by the keeper Vincent Enyeama. This group of players is looking to bring Nigeria their first World Cup win since 1998.
Iran has one victory in the World Cup, but it was against the USMNT. Fans of MLS should know Steve Beitashour of the Vancouver Whitecaps and he will start. Former Osasuna midfielder and team captain Javad Nekounam will be the key as he will be expected to run the match. Iran is known as a defensive team. However, they have only scored six goals in their nine appearances in the World Cup while conceding 18.
Nigeria should be able to generate plenty of chances, but Iran should be confident in their ability to make the last-minute tackle. If the Super Eagles have a lead midway through the second half, then the game could really open up. Iran will become susceptible to the counter attack and some speedy substitutes. Nigeria will want to get forward while Iran will want to control the match at a slow pace. The team that finds possession should win. However, that result is very uncertain.
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