Argentina World Cup-winning midfielder, Osvaldo Ardiles, has said that Nigeria is one of the unexpected favourites for the 2018 World Cup.
Giving his reasons, the legendary playmaker stated that the Super Eagles are physically powerful and more motivated to win their opening match against Croatia.
Ardiles who has managed Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and West Brom picked out Chelsea’s Victor Moses, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa as the stars in the Super Eagles squad.
He told Sportske.jutarnji.hr, ”Nigeria is a very, very dangerous team. True, there is no longer those big star stars like Finidi, Okocha, Kanu, Amokachi. However, this is a young , energy-loving team that wants to be at the level of its best time.
“Nigeria could be an unexpected favorite of the World Cup. They will play without any fear, they have nothing to lose and are very powerful. They are physically powerful and totally unpredictable.
“Argentina and Croatia will have to be very careful in the game with Nigeria, with Croatia being in my opinion to be more difficult because it plays the first game with them.
“In that opening match, the Nigerians will be the most motivated, they will want to show everything they know, and they will know that getting three points can take them far away.
“Therefore, Croatia must be very concentrated. Not only that, as I recall, African teams usually know they are better at the beginning and less so as the championship moves.
“Here in England Moses plays in Chelsea, Iwobi in Arsenal and Musa in Leicester, Obi Mikel from Chelsea has gone to China.”