The Nigeria vs Scotland pre-World Cup friendly will be played this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 (12:00 PM Pacific). Nigeria will measure forces with Scotland at the emblematic Craven Cottage in London for another preparation match leading up to the World Cup that is just around the corner.
After the arrival of Stephen Keshi to the helm of the Super Eagles, the African team seems to have been refurbished. When he arrived at the team later in 2011 to replace Samson Siasia, Nigeria was going through a very complicated period after failing to qualify to the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
Keshi implemented several changes at the squad and introduced a new tactical approach, based on the classic 4-3-3, but with an inverted midfield triangle, three versatile and fast men up in the front, two of them working either as inside forwards or wingers and constantly changing positions with one another. The front men trio is usually composed by Chelsea’s winger Victor Moses, CSKA Moscow’s talented young forward Ahmed Musa and Fenerbahce’s powerful striker Emmanuel Emenike. This is a new and dangerous Nigeria, not comparable by any means to that team who had such a mediocre performance at South Africa in 2010.
For the match against Scotland, Stephen Keshi will once again be able to count on Stoke City’s versatile forward Peter Odemwingie, who hasn’t been able to represent his country since 2012, and that will certainly offer the Nigerian manager a very valid option for the team’s already strong forward line.
As for Scotland, they are probably going through one their most complicated periods of their recent history, since they have failed to qualify to the last four World Cup tournaments and to the last four European Championships as well. The arrival of the mythical Scottish midfielder Gordon Strachan to the helm of the team back in January 2013 brought in some winds of change and hope, as he conducted them to their three wins during the UEFA qualifying stage for the Brazil World Cup. Nevertheless, all the improvements (even the tactical ones) were not enough, as they ended fourth in their group, right behind Belgium, Croatia and Serbia, with just three wins in ten matches.
For the Craven Cottage match, Gordon Strachan will have no injury concerns in his team and although Barry Bannan and Leigh Griffiths have missed last Tuesday’s training session, they should be ready for today’s match.
Nigeria vs Scotland Prediction
Although Scotland are certainly hoping to win the match, the Craven Cottage clash is far more important to Nigeria, since it will be a good opportunity for their manager to trim his team’s rough edges for a demanding World Cup tournament that is just fifteen days way. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for Nigeria.
Nigeria (4-3-3) – Enyeama, Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Elderson, Onazi, Mikel, Mba, Moses, Musa, Emenike
Scotland (4-4-2) – McGregor, Hutton, Mulgrew, Hanley, Martin, Snodgrass, Bannan, Morrison, Brown, Naismith, Griffiths
Nigeria vs Scotland TV Schedule
The Nigeria vs Scotland match will be televised in the USA on GOLTV at 12:00 PM Pacific.