Nigeria v Bosnia: Expert v Expert Preview


Bosnia Bosnia flag and Nigeria Nigeria flag could both do with wins to boost their World Cup campaigns after frustrating opening fixtures. Bosnia expert Sasa Ibrulj tips a win for Safet Susic's men while Colin Udoh has Nigeria on for a narrow victory.

TEAM NEWS

Colin Udoh on Nigeria: Stephen Keshi has a decision to make. Peter Odemwingie was one of the standout players when he came on against Iran, more than earning a start for the next game. The question is, who will suffer the consequences? The easy answer is Ramon Azeez. The youngster looked invisible for most of that game and that may have cost him. Elsewhere, Godfrey Oboabona remains out with injury meaning skipper Joseph Yobo will start in central defence with Kenneth Omeruo.

Sasa Ibrulj on Bosnia and Herzegovina: Things have not changed a lot since the match against Argentina. Sejad Salihovic is back to work, but he will not be ready for the Nigeria clash. Emir Spahic left the practice two days ago with an injury, but he has recovered in time and will play. Still, there are some changes to expect in this team - it seems that Susic was not satisfied with Ermin Bicakcic and he'll probably be dropped. That would mean moving Kolasinac into central defence and Lulic out to left back. It would also reconstruct the midfield, with an option of Edin Visca coming up as a solution on the left wing.

FORM

Colin Udoh: Look away now Nigerians. In his two years in charge of Nigeria, Stephen Keshi is yet to record a win against European opposition. His best showing was a 2-2 draw against former World Champions Italy. And with his team needing a win against Bosnia to keep alive their hopes of making it past the first round, that is not a statistic that makes for pleasant reading, especially not when they huffed and puffed but still failed to blow down an Iranian defence that not only looked creaky, but featured a dodgy goalkeeper.

Sasa Ibrulj: Bosnia have lost just once in their last three matches, but that was the one that counts. The positive impression that Bosnia-Herzegovina left after the opening match could easily be used as a boost for confidence for the Dragons. Apart from the nervous opening ten minutes, Bosnia-Herzegovina looked good against one of the tournament's favorites and for the team that just made its World Cup debut that could be a positive. They retained the good atmosphere, the country is in euphoria, and this has considered to be the biggest match in the nation's history. Something they live for.

WHAT THE MANAGER SAYS

Nigeria's Stephen Keshi: "We know what went wrong against Iran. And sometimes the players were too anxious to score, but we know what we have to do."

Bosnia's Safet Susic: "Even when we play with one striker, we are extremely offensive, with four or five players coming from behind. But I am still not sure if I will play Ibisevic together with Dzeko. In any case, both teams like to attack and this should be a good match with a lot of goals."

Peter Odemwingie in action for Nigeria

KEY MAN

Colin Udoh: Nigeria looked short on creativity, running and endeavor against Iran. One man in the entire team embodies all three attributes: Peter Odemwingie. When he came on, the team positively perked up and looked more dangerous. He is widely expected to start. If he does, expect more verve from Nigeria.

Sasa Ibrulj: Bosnia-Herzegovina needs goals and so far they have relied on Edin Dzeko. He may not be the most efficient or attractive player, but he delivers when they need, and they need him now the most. As Susic said at the last press conference before the match, as much as Ronaldo means to Portugal, Messi to Argentina or Neymar to Brazil, Dzeko means to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

BEST BET 

Colin Udoh: Vincent Enyeama is always good to save at least one goal every game for Nigeria. He did exactly that against Iran and with Edin Dzeko prowling, could be called upon to do so. A price of 1.86 is available for Bosnia not to score before half time.

Sasa Ibrulj: Once again, I would go for both teams to score, available at 1.85. Don't be fooled by the first Nigeria match; Bosnians will attack and leave some room for fast counters that are their weak spot. Dzeko to score the first goal at 4.50 is a good punt as well, but for much smaller money.

SCORE PREDICTION

Colin Udoh: Nigeria 2-1 win at 15.00.

Sasa Ibrulj: Goals galore! 3-2 win for Bosnia-Herzegovina at 30.00.