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Nigeria - World Cup 2018

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Nigeria made it through a tough qualifying group that included Zambia, Algeria, and Cameroon in first place with a game in hand.

The Super Eagles also won a comeback victory against Argentina in a post-qualifying Friendly match, so there is a lot to be optimistic about going into Russia 2018. Coached by German manager Gernot Rohr, Nigeria could be a surprise team in this year's World Cup Odds.

Nigeria’s World Cup History

Nigeria played its first World Cup in 1994 and has played in every Tournament since with the exception of Germany 2006.

In 1994 they reached as high as number 5 in the FIFA rankings, making them the highest ranked team from the African Continent.

In the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria finished in 3rd place two tournaments in a row, in 1976 and 78', marking their first major accomplishment at the international level. They went on to win the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations as hosts of the tournament.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Nigeria won the gold medal, beating Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina in the process. In World Cup competition, they have made it to the group of 16 three times, in their first appearance in 94 and again in France 98', and once more at the last tournament in Brazil.

Nigeria’s Road To The 2018 World Cup

To qualify for the World Cup, Nigeria had to come out on top of a tough group of rivals and elite African teams. They did so by going 4-1-1, garnering 13 points, five ahead of second-place Zambia.

They were led in scoring by Chelsea's Victor Moses, who netted three goals in those six games. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) and Captain John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA) each scored two during that time.

In their final game against Algeria, the game ended in a 1-1 tie but FIFA awarded a 3-0 victory to Algeria as Nigeria fielded the ineligible Shehu Abdullahi

How Does The Nigeria World Cup 2018 Squad Stack Up?

Possessing a number of talented young players eager to make their name on an international stage, if Nigeria plays well they could make it to the knockout round.

Youngsters like Iwobi, Iheanacho, and the dynamic 21-year-old Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester) lead a powerful offense that may be able to compete with the likes of Croatia and Argentina (who they recently beat in a friendly match).

Defensively, some of their younger talents have gotten minutes in qualifying games, as well as in the recent friendly matches played. Leon Balogun, Brian Idowu, and William Troost-Ekong hold the back line, providing support for Nigeria's powerful counter-attack.

Nigeria Odds To Win World Cup 2018

It's not a bad bet to count on Nigeria coming out of the group stage. With Argentina and Croatia being inconsistent, and Iceland being new to the tournament, Nigeria will be one of the tougher matches for these teams in the first round.

While they are 12/5 odds-against underdogs to make it to the knockout round, this group is so hard to predict they might make a good bet.

Nigeria World Cup 2018

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