Nigeria vs Serbia Preview: Super Eagles set for tricky tie


After the victory against Poland, the Super Eagles further test their might against Serbia in preparation for the 2018 World Cup.

Gernot Rohr’s men go into the fixture at The Hive Stadium in London confident after their solid defensive display at Wroclaw while Serbia are coming off a loss against African side Morocco.

Mladen Krstajic’s side boasts a solid spine in midfield including Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic and Benfica’s Andrija Zivkovic.

The Eagles are particularly potent on the wings with Southampton’s Dusan Tadic a key component of their attack alongside Hamburg’s Filip Kostic.

The fixture affords Gernot Rohr another opportunity to assess his squad and to find solutions to questions around the team.

Francis Uzoho might be in line for a return in goal after he overcame an uncertain start in the game against Poland. The 19-year old started nervily but grew in the game to deliver two brilliant stops and also earn a clean sheet.

Against the Orlovi, Rohr is expected to ditch the 4-4-2 to accommodate an extra midfielder so as to afford the midfield more solidity. It also affects the attack as the coach seeks to remedy the disjointedness in attack.

It will be interesting to note how the manager fits the midfield that has clearly lacked control and poise in the absence of John Mikel Obi. Joel Obi, 26, started against Poland but had too much ground to cover alongside Wilfred Ndidi. John Ogu could be in line for a start to improve the passing from the middle third as well as bulk up the physicality.

Junior Ajayi could be presented the chance to make his debut in attack after he joined the squad in London, especially with Kelechi Iheanacho sidelined. Shehu Abdullahi also is unavailable after he was substituted in the Poland game due to injury with Tyronne Ebuehi favoured to take his place at right back.

Possible XI: Uzoho; Ebuehi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Echiejile; Ndidi, Onazi, Ogu; Moses, Ighalo, Iwobi