These are the 5 players who are capable of making the almost 200 million Nigerians unhappy with their performance at 4pm today.
Hannes Halldorsson: As far as spanner in the works go, look no further than Halldorsson’s heroics against Argentina. The shot-stopper made several saves to deny the South Americans in their World Cup opener, including a smart stop from a Lionel Messi penalty which denied Jorge Sampaoli’s side a win. He couldn’t have done much to prevent Sergio Aguero’s strike, though, and the Nigeria forwards will need to be on top of their game if they are to find a way past the part-time filmmaker.
Kari Arnason: Our Boys kept the Albiceleste at bay in their opening game and that was mainly due to the central defender, who epitomized the Europeans’ dogged and resolute defensive display. The Vikingur man was timely in the tackle and won quite a number of aerial duels. He’s also a threat from set pieces and could cause some damage when he does go forward.
Aron Gunnarsson: The Iceland skipper offers protection to an already water-tight defence which might prove difficult to break down. His positioning often restricts space between the lines for the opposition to exploit, and the Cardiff City midfielder’s hard work rubs off his teammates. He also has the tendency to be well-placed for an out-ball when his team’s under pressure, and is certainly not one to hide during a game.
Gylfi Sigurdsson: Iceland’s star player probably needs no introduction. Sigurdsson‘s somewhat dual role of creating and scoring is well documented, and it probably isn’t a surprise that he was Our Boys’ top scorer in qualifying with four goals. The midfield playmaker not only offers so much on the ball with his passing and vision, he also complements that with great work off the ball in the attacking and defensive phases. He also boasts a threat from direct and indirect free-kicks, and it's imperative the Super Eagles don't give needless fouls away in dangerous areas.
Alfred Finnbogason: Only the aforementioned Sigurdsson scored more than Finnbogason - who found the back of the net three times - in qualifying and the FC Augsburg forward has already shown his predatory instinct in this box with his equalizer against Argentina. He will certainly be relishing the prospect of going up against an often-shaky rearguard of the Super Eagles that’s failed to keep a clean sheet in five successive games.