By John EGBOKHAN
Two of Nigeria’s Group F opponents at the 2014 World Cup, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina have started plotting afresh for the fall of the African champions at the Mundial.
Eagles get their World Cup campaign up and running against the Iranians on June 16 in Curitiba, in a match that observers have heavily tipped the west Africans to win.
Nigeria’s next match against Bosnia and Herzegovina holds on June 21 at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, while the pick of the ties is the grudge game between the Eagles and their old World Cup nemesis Argentina on June 25 at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre.
But while the emphasis for the Eagles have been on Argentina, who are firm favourites to qualify as group winners, their other group oppositions feel that they can capitalize on Eagles’ seeming concentration on the Lionel Messi captained Argentine side.
Speaking after steering his team to a morale-boosting 5-0 spanking of South Africa’s Moroka Swallows, Iran’s coach, Carlos Queiroz said it was good for his team that the Eagles were hardly paying attention to them as the World Cup approaches swiftly, adding that he plans to turn this to his side’s advantage when they clash with Eagles on June 16.
“I think it is a good thing that Nigeria are putting their eyes on us. From my own reckoning, they seem to be talking more of Argentina, believing that they will have it easy against us. But hey will not have it easy because we are planning for them”, Queiroz told Tehran Times.
Continuing, the Portuguese trainer added that “winning the first match is always very important in a competition like the World Cup and I believe that we can surprise the Nigerians, who like I said seem to be distracted by Argentina”.
Also speaking during the week, Bosnia-Herzegovina striker, Edin Dzeko said that they were primed to defeat Eagles when both sides go to battle on June 21 in Cuiaba.
“We are not taking any game lightly at the World Cup. It is going to be total war against all our opponents. Iran are good but we can handle them. I think the game against Nigeria is the key to qualifying and we are working hard to get the victory”, said the Manchester City forward.