FIFA RANKING: 21
Nigeria, having qualified for the 4th time for the World Cup, will be looking for improvement in their results after failing to secure a quarter final berth in 1994 when they lost to Italy in extra time. The next disappointment came in 1998 when they beat Spain in the group stages but failed to go past Denmark in the second round. This time they will realistically look for a 2nd place group-stage finish having been pitted against the likes of Argentina, South Korea and Greece.
Having sacked Shaibu Amodu after their semi-final defeat to Ghana in January's African Cup of Nations, Nigeria appointed former Sweden manager Lars Lagerback. The Swede was appointed on a 5 month contract in February. Having built a good and a creative Sweden team before, he will be expected to do the same with his well balanced Nigerian team.
Enyeama, Ejide, Dele Aiyenugba
Joseph Yobo, Dele Adeleye, Chidi Odiah, Rabiu Afolabi, Taiye Taiwo, Daniel Shittu, Echiejile
Mikel Obi, Etuhu, Kalu Uche, Haruna Lukman, Kanu Nwankwo, Yusuf Ayila, Sani Keita
Osaze, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins, Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi, John Utaka, Obinna Nsofor
MAN TO WATCH
Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi
Obasi, also known as 'Edu' currently plays for German club 1899 Hoffenheim. The speedy and the skillful striker will be eager to cause some problems in the opposition defence. Although he faces tough competition to secure a starting 11 birth with the likes of Yakubu and Obafemi Martins in the squad, but he still may prove to be the Nigerian 'Solskjaer' as a goal-scoring substitute.
With Argentina expected to qualify as group leaders, Nigeria will have to fight off the challenge of South Korea and Greece. Although not impossible to qualify, but we don't expect Nigeria to go to the knockout stages of the World Cup. We feel that the challenge posed by Korea and former Euro champions Greece will prove too tough for Nigeria.