Featured Matches
Previous
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
0
1
LIVE 16'
Game Details
Grimsby Town
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Morecambe
Preston North End
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Southampton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Crystal Palace
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Ham United
Sydney FC
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Wellington Phoenix FC
Newcastle United
4:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
0
1
LIVE 16'
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Vestsjaelland
Odense BK
3
1
FT
Game Details
UCD
Derry City
Postp
Game Details
Bohemians
Cork
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Drogheda Utd
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Altamira
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Necaxa
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
América RN
América Mineiro
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Bragantino
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Antofagasta
Audax Italiano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Garcilaso
Melgar
1
1
FT
Game Details
Nacional
Deportivo Capiatá
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Western New York Flash
Boston Breakers
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Tactics: U.S. defend deep

Tactics Board Jul 1, 2014
Read

CAF's best push UEFA teams to the limit

Five Aside Jun 30, 2014
Read

Matchday 14: Messi, Argentina in round of 16

Five Aside Jun 25, 2014
Read
Jun 9, 2014

Nigeria's World Cup predictions

ESPN FC's Colin Udoh previews Nigeria's chances in Brazil.

After four years of waiting, the time has come. Another World Cup is here, and our bloggers across all 32 competing countries have each predicted the fate that awaits their team. The country's Outlook gives a general view of its situation ahead of the tournament, while Pitfalls takes a look at any potential problems. Each blogger will also predict the top scorer and breakout star and suggest how far that nation can go.

OUTLOOK

After three friendly matches, Nigeria do not look like they intimidate anyone. Draws against Scotland and Greece and a limp performance in the 2-1 defeat against the U.S. suggest that the team still has some way to go. Coach Stephen Keshi has tinkered with his personnel, tactics and style in all three games, but so far, nothing has quite worked out.

As if that was not bad enough, injury to first-choice left-back Elderson Echiejile has made the side look somewhat unbalanced. Worse, goal scoring has proved to be a major issue, and Keshi's wards will have to find a way to create, and finish, chances.

PITFALLS

So far, the team looks like anything but one. Victor Moses provides the main creative spark, but he does not seem to have imbibed the ethos of team work. In all three warm-up games, players have run into each other's spaces, tactical discipline has been hard to achieve, and the defence has looked somewhat out of shape.

Ogenyi Onazi runs himself aground in midfield but barely gets any support. With time short before Nigeria get their campaign off the ground, Keshi will have to find a way to get his first XI playing like a team. And for each other.

STAR SCORER

Everyone looks up to Emmanuel Emenike for goals, and he could well earn top scorer honours, at least for his team. But one man who could upstage him is Uche Nwofor. The second-choice line leader is a natural predator. Not only does he know his way around the penalty area, but he is also as precise with his finish as he is good with his positioning. Having spent the season on loan at SC Heerenveen from VVV Venlo in the Dutch Eredivise, Nwofor will be keen to showcase his skills and possibly earn a move this summer.

Ogenyi Onazi will be a powerful influence in the middle of the pitch.

WILD CARD

Onazi is the oil that keeps that Super Eagles' engine room going. For a man of small size, he is a brutish, uncompromising tackler who takes no prisoners. When in sight of goal, he will not hesitate to let fly from distance. If there is one man on the team who could play a starring role, Onazi would be it, and he will be a key figure in central midfield. Chelsea's John Obi Mikel may get more of the spotlight, but his partner in crime could have more of an impact in Brazil.

PREDICTION: Last 16

If the Super Eagles get in their groove before that opening game against Iran and secure those first three points, the confidence could carry them in its swell and lead to victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Given that Argentina are likely to prove a much tougher test, it would be good to have points in the bag before they arrive. A place in the last 16 would represent a fine tournament, and the Nigerian fans will believe that if they can do that, anything is possible.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.