Nigeria were handed a tough assignment in Friday’s World Cup group-stage draw; how do they negotiate a pathway through to the knockouts?
In this feature, KweséESPN presents five steps the Super Eagles must follow if they’re to replicate their showings of 1994, 1998 and 2014, and reach the Last 16. Stick to tried and tested players: Gernot Rohr has done a great job in reducing the average age of the squad since his appointment in 2016.
In the run-up to previous World Cup editions, notably in 2002, an unsatisfactory Africa Cup of Nations performance had led to a near total overhaul of the Super Eagles in the build-up to the World Cup. Unsurprisingly, it led to a disjointed performance during the tournament itself.
The team have no such worries ahead of the tournament in Russia.
The flagship African football competition has now been rescheduled, and the core of the players who ensured Nigeria qualified from Group B unbeaten are all almost guaranteed a seat on the plane, provided none suffer an alarming loss of form or season-ending injury.
While Rohr may introduce one or two new faces, the core of the team is settled, and he’s unlikely to risk destabilising it.