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2010 World Cup Team Previews: Nigeria

World Cup 2010 Team Spotlight – Nigeria

Capperspicks.com is previewing The Teams For World Cup 2010 in South Africa – Venues, History, and more. If you’re Looking To gamble On The 2010 World Cup here is your insider betting guide and World Cup 2010 Preview. We will also have game by game Free World Cup soccer predictions and more.

The WORLD CUP FINALS had their final draw on Dec 4th, 2009. 32 teams were picked out of their respective pots and we now know the matchups for World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Need predictions for Nigeria?

From the Coach

Analysis from the coach: “We know that we will have a tough job at the World Cup. We are up against some tough teams like Argentina, with top players like [Lionel] Messi. It’s important for us to prove that we can play our own game against the best,”Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR SOUTH AFRICA WORLD CUP 2010 PREVIEW INDEX GUIDE —–>

In the 1990s the Nigerians were Africa’s best World Cup contender, but this year’s squad does not have the depth once enjoyed by greats like Jay-Jay Okocha and Sunday Oliseh of Nigeria’s golden age. The Super Eagles is making its first appearance back in the tournament since 2002 and with the World Cup on African soil, will be expected to give a solid performance with the crowds firmly behind them.

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece

FIFA Ranking: 8
Nigeria Odds to win World Cup: +800

Matchups:
June 12 vs. Argentina
June 17 vs. Greece
June 22 vs. South Korea

CLICK HERE TO GRAB LIVE 2010 Team Nigeria betting odds? —–>

Despite the team’s success at making another World Cup appearance, Boss Shaibu Amodu was fired after the team finished third at the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. Swedish born Lars Lagerback replaced Amodu at the end of February.

The 61-year-old is Nigeria’s 23rd coach since Englishman John Finch in 1949. Lagerback led Sweden to the knockout rounds at Korea/Japan 2002 as well as Germany 2006. He has also coached several teams that have qualified for three consecutive European Championships.

Now he will be the fist Scandinavian to coach the Nigerian style of flying, athletic, attacking football that has aptly earned them the nickname, the Super Eagles.

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Nigeria has a squad packed with both young and experienced talent alike, but the player that will lead Nigeria’s high flying attack in South Africa will be Peter Utaka, younger brother of Portsmouth striker, John Utaka.

Utaka has an impressive goal scoring record in the Belgian League and currently in the Danish League with Odense Boldklub. He along with striker Obafemi Martins and set up man — midfielder Jon Mikel Obi, will round out the up front punch for Nigera, while youngsters Victor Obinna, Ikechukwu Uche and Nwankwo Kanu seem more than ready to carry the torch for their famous predecessors.

Skipper Joseph Yobo in the centre of defense will be a force on the backline.
After opening their qualifying run with a scoreless draw against Mozambique in the final round of CAF, followed by a consecutive draw with the Carthage Eagles, the Super Eagles were on the brink of elimination. However, with Tunisia losing 1-0 in Mozambique, Nigeria came from a goal behind twice to win 3-2 in Kenya.

Striker Obafemi Martins netted the equalizer at the 60th minute and the game winner with just nine minutes remaining, earning Nigeria their World Cup ticket with a one goal difference.

Lagerback will have little time to build chemistry with a side that many consider less talented than previous Nigerian teams.

Although they have just one point from their last five matches in the finals, and missed out on Germany 2006 altogether, the Super Eagles could be Group B’s dark horse, sneaking up on unwary opponents.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “ Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”

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