Russia 2018 World Cup: Mikel, Musa likely to start for Nigeria vs Croatia

Etebo, Uzoho, Ekong on heading to the pitch for training
Nigeria will play their first World Cup match against Croatia on June 16, the Super Eagles continued their preparation earlier today after arriving in Russia in style.

Here are some images as they arrive in Russia for the 2018 World Cup:

Ebuehi and Troost Ekong rocking Super Eagles official attire
Ebuehi and Troost Ekong rocking the official traditional attire.

Nigeria team group photo before departure for Russia 2018

Super Eagles players arriving in Russia in style
Nigerian team arrive in Essentuki in style

Mayor of Essentuki welcomes the Super Eagles to Russia
The three-time African champions had their first training session at Essentuki base camp, playing a training match as the team was split into two. According to FIFA official team reporter for the Super Eagles, coach Rohr has made some changes to the team, the likely starting team played with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Victor Moses, Troost Ekong and John Ogu are the notable changes made from the last friendly match against the Czech Republic.

Here is the likely starting line-up: Uzoho; Idowu, Ebuehi, Omeruo, Balogun; Ndidi, Etebo; Ahmed Musa, Mikel, Iwobi; Ighalo.

Team B: Ikechukwu Ezenwa; Shehu Abdullahi, Elderson Echiejile, William Troost-Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi; Kelechi Iheanacho, Joel Obi, Victor Moses; Simy Nwankwo.

Captain Mikel Obi and Ahmed Musa scored in a 2-1 win for the starting team while Joel Obi scored the only goal for the second team. 

The 4-2-3-1 looks good and fluid with Etebo and Ndidi shielding the defence, Etebo can break forward to support the three behind Ighalo when we are on the break. The only worry is the defence, Rohr dropping Troost Ekong for Omeruo, the latter seems like a calamity awaiting anytime he plays for Nigeria, Ekong and Balogun have a chemistry during the qualifiers but they started to struggle as we keep leaking goals in recent matches. Maybe, that prompted the shuffle. 

What do you think about this lineup?

Check some images from today's training.  Photo Credit:  FIFAWorldCupNGA

Written by: Olusegun Ake

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