Posted: Monday 26th May 2014 at 23:11 pm

Nigeria play Scotland in an international friendly at Craven Cottage


Stephen Keshi’s side ” crowned champions of Africa last year ” are confident of progressing from a tough Group F in Brazil that also contains Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama confidently declared his side could reach the showpiece’s semi-finals last week ” a view winger Victor Moses echoed in the build-up to the clash against the Scots.

But first they must focus on finding rhythm and form against Scotland, Greece and the United States.

The friendlies provide an opportunity for Keshi to take a final look at his squad and one of the decisions he must make is whether to break up the defensive partnership of Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona that has served him so well.

Experienced campaigner Joseph Yobo is waiting in the wings after returning to the squad from an extended absence.

The 33-year-old has not played since his side won the Africa Cup of Nations in February last year.

Oboabona knows Yobo is likely to come in ” increasing the importance of his performance against Scotland.

“The World Cup is a place to showcase true skills,” he said on Monday.

“And I will do everything within my powers to be part of the final 23-man list.”

Yobo is not the only experienced player returning to the fold, with Stoke City forward Peter Odemwingie also in the mix again.

Enyeama, Moses and John Obi Mikel are all expected to be involved on Wednesday and the trio will play key roles in Brazil.

Nigeria sit 44th in the FIFA rankings, 22 places behind Scotland, despite the failure of Gordon Strachan’s men to reach the World Cup.

A five-match unbeaten run ” that has included wins over Macedonia, Croatia, Norway and Poland ” has helped Scotland surge up the rankings.

They are the second-highest ranked team not to feature in Brazil, but will be using the match as preparation for the start of their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Derby County striker Chris Martin ” who qualifies through his Scottish-born father ” could make his debut for Scotland.

Ikechi Anya, who has Nigerian ancestry, could also play a part for Scotland.

For more sports news visit allSports.com.gh

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