Next Tuesday, June 3, 2014 (3:50 PM Pacific), Greece and Nigeria will measure forces at PPL Park in Philadelphia, United States of America, on a match that will serve as preparation for both teams for the World Cup that is only a few days ahead of us.
Last Saturday, Greece travelled to Oeiras, in the outskirts of Lisbon, to face the home side of Portugal, on a match that marked the return of Fernando Santos, the Greek head coach, to Portuguese soil. The reedition of the Euro 2004 final ended in a bland goalless draw, with Portugal unable to cope with the absence of their leading man Cristiano Ronaldo and Greece patiently waiting for a mistake from the opposition team to sentence the match. At the end of the match, Fernando Santos recognized Portugal’s dominance during the first-half, but highlighted his team’s improvements after the break and how they managed to counter the alleged Portuguese superiority.
The match against Nigeria will certainly be a good test for the Greeks, since they will face Côte d’Ivoire, a team that plays a similar type football, for the World Cup’s group stage. For the match against the African Super Eagles, Fernando Santos will probably continue to push his usual 4-3-3 tactical style, with just one poacher up in the front and two versatile inside forwards on the wings, lurking behind him.
For next Wednesday’s match, it is likely that the experienced Portuguese manager wants to implement some changes in his team, since he will not certainly want to risk any last minute injuries at this stage of the game and with the World Cup just around the corner.
As for Nigeria, the clash against Greece will be their second test for the World Cup tournament in the last seven days. After their 2-2 draw against Scotland (a clash that it is likely to be investigated by FIFA due to the accusation of match-fixing), the Nigerian side will now measure forces with another European side, who interestingly enough faced their World Cup opponents, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the UEFA qualification group.
Greece vs Nigeria Prediction
The Nigerian manager, Stephen Keshi, will probably also implement some changes in the team’s starting line-up in order to test all of his options for the Super Eagles’ opening match against Iran on 16 June.
Greece are favourites for the next Wednesday’s clash and although Fernando Santos’ team might not be very prolific when it comes to scoring goals, they probably have what is necessary to defeat a strong but fairly inconsistent Nigerian side. This being said, the most likely outcome is 1-0 for Greece.
Greece vs Nigeria Lineups
Greece (4-3-3) – Karnezis; Torosidis, Sokratis, Vyntra, Holebas; Tziolis, Kone, Karagounis, Maniatis; Samaras, Gekas.
Nigeria (4-3-3) – Enyeama, Yobo, Omeruo, Oboabona, Elderson, Onazi, Mikel, Azeez, Moses, Odemwingie, Nwofor
Venue: PPL Park
TV Schedule: beIN Sports USA at 3:50 PM Pacific