Nigeria v Bosnia – Bosnians To Batter NigeriaStats
Nigeria v Bosnia
Both Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina are looking for their first wins of the World Cup. I take a look at what is a pivotal game in Group F.
Nigeria’s goalless draw with Iran was, by far, the dullest and poorest in terms of quality of the tournament so far. Iran, understandably, were keen to keep things tight at the back, while Nigeria were incapable of breaking them down. Despite dominating almost 70% of possession, not until Peter Odemwingie was introduced for the final half hour did they create any meaningful chances. And even when chances were created, they were squandered pitifully.
This is a poor Nigeria side and it’s not hard to see why they haven’t won any of their last five matches and have failed to score in four of their last seven.
Bosnia may be a point worse off in Group F, but can be markedly more confident of progressing to the knockout stages after the way that they played in their opening match against Argentina.
They were behind, cruelly, from an own goal inside the opening three minutes, but rallied well and contained Argentina until a Lionel Messi special put the game to bed just after the hour mark. Vedad Ibisievic scored with six minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish, but the game finished 2-1.
Safet Sušić’s men can push on from that opening game and will be further buoyed having seen how poor both Iran and Nigeria were in their opening game.
Godfrey Oboabona has been ruled out following an ankle injury that forced him out of the game with Iran after just 30 minutes. Joseph Yobo came on in his place in that game and is likely to take up a position in the starting XI here.
Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi appeared to open old wounds in his post-match press conference by criticising the way that Odemwingie played when introduced as a late substitute. It is not yet clear what the ramifications of those comments will be.
Sušić openly admits to having very few options to alter Bosnia’s starting XI. But Vedad Ibisevic’s goalscoring appearance from the substitute’s bench may see him push for a place in the starting XI.
The two nations have never previously met in a recognised Fifa international fixture.
At odds of 20/21 to take all three points Bosnia & Herzegovina are one of the standout bets of the tournament so far.