Nigeria's World Cup 2022 Standings
Nigeria complete Group D, which also includes Argentina, Iceland and Croatia. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Nigeria's Odds To Win The World Cup
Nigeria may be considered the strongest of the African participants at the 2018 World Cup. Boasting a solid lineup and a tactically shrewd German at the helm, expect the Super Eagles to be involved in low scoring contests and push their opposition all the way until the final whistle.
Sports Interaction has listed the Nigerians as outsiders in the outright betting market, priced at +18900. While it's pretty much out of the question to suggest they can win the tournament, they are certainly a chance of making it to the second round, and you will receive generous odds of +230 if you believe they can progress from a group containing 2014 finalists Argentina and a strong looking Croatian side.
Our pick is a group stage exit for Nigeria, simply because Argentina and Croatia boast better teams and will do enough to progress from Group D. Nigeria's best chance will come against Iceland in their second game, although they will need to jag a draw or better against Argentina, something they have never achieved.
Regardless of their final performance, Nigeria is an exciting team to watch and could certainly prove us and the other doubters wrong. Make sure you place a wager on the Super Eagles.
Nigeria's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Nigerian team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Victor Moses (Winger / Wing-back)
After loan spells at Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United, Chelsea have started to utilize the pace and power of Moses in their starting lineup, and he was a big part of their championship-winning side in the 2016/17 season. He managed three goals during qualification and has also scored four in his career from wing-back at Chelsea, which shows how important the Nigerian talisman can be.
Alex Iwobi (Forward)
Iwobi is just starting his promising career and has already made over fifty appearances for Arsenal after spending eleven years in the club's youth setup. He scored goals in his first two Premier League starts, against Everton and Watford, and scored goals in both matches against Zambia in the qualification campaign. His pace and ability with the ball at his feet make him a perfect exponent of counter-attacking football, which Nigeria has shown in the last twelve months.
John Obi Mikel (Midfielder)
Another English Premier League champion, Mikel has had one of the most impressive careers in football, with two English titles, four FA Cup medals and both a Champions League and Europa League winners medal. The Nigerian captain is crucial to the success of his team and is utilized in his favoured defensive midfield position where he is excellent at breaking down opposing attacks and delivering the ball quickly to the front men.
The Coach - Gernot Rohr
Rohr was born in Germany and had a long playing career with Bordeaux, making 352 appearances as a defender. His defensive background is clear to see in a Nigerian side that play with five at the back and specialize in counter-attacking football.
Rohr has managed several teams in a career spanning almost thirty years. Starting with Bordeaux, he moved on to stints with several clubs before establishing as an international manager in Africa. He has led Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso since 2010, and took on the job in Nigeria from 2016, leading them to their sixth World Cup with a win over Zambia.
Nigeria's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Nigeria's latest international was the friendly played against Argentina on November 14th, 2017. The full lineup was as follows.
Starting Lineup (5-3-2)
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United) - Ola Aina (Hull City), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), Leon Balogun (Mainz), William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor), Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Farmagusta) - John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) - Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal).
Reserves: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Kenneth Omeruo, Uche Agbo, Brian Idowu, Tyronne Eduehi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Chidiebere Nwakali, Ahmed Musa, Anthony Nwakaeme, Olarenwaju Kayode, Henry Onyekuru.
Nigeria's World Cup History
If you're a fan of Nigerian football, you will be well aware that Argentina has proved to be the biggest thorn in the national team's side since they first appeared at the World Cup in 1994. The South American giants have featured alongside Nigeria in the group stage in four out of the five tournaments that the Africans have been involved in, and they will once again share a group in Russia.
Nigeria is yet to gain a single point in their matches against Argentina at the World Cup, although that hasn't stopped their progress at the tournament. The Super Eagles have made it to the Round of 16 in three of their five appearances to date, including their inaugural start in the USA. 3-0 and 2-0 wins over Bulgaria and Greece respectively led Nigeria to the second round, where they lost to Italy in a match that went to extra time.
Four years later, Nigeria kicked off the tournament in France with a huge 3-2 upset win over Spain, and also defeated Bulgaria in the group stage to secure their progress with one match to spare. However, a loss to Paraguay in the final group game was followed by a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Denmark in their second consecutive Round of 16 appearance.
Nigeria's third consecutive World Cup was their least successful, and it all started when they were placed in a 'Group of Death' featuring England, Sweden and their perennial foes Argentina. They scored just one goal in a campaign that featured losses to Argentina and Sweden and a scoreless draw to England in the final match.
After missing the 2006 event, the Super Eagles returned in 2010 and again picked up a solitary point in the group stage, making it back to back first-round exits. Another 1-0 loss to Argentina was followed by a 2-1 loss to Greece and a 2-2 draw with South Korea in what proved to be an unsuccessful return to the tournament.
In 2014, Nigeria earned its third trip to the Round of 16 after navigating through a tight group in Brazil. They drew 0-0 to Iran in the first match before beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0. Their final match came against Argentina and resulted in yet another one-goal defeat, this time in a 3-2 thriller. France were the opponents in the second round and was too good in their 2-0 victory.
There is a decent opportunity for Nigeria to progress in Russia, however, they will need to find a way to defeat Argentina if they want to be considered serious contenders. They did manage a 4-2 defeat of the Argentinians in a friendly match in November, which will give them some confidence, but they will need to do it when it counts, particularly as Croatia are rated as a better chance of progressing from Group D.