By Jacob Ajom
The Green Eagles will today take on Saudi Arabia in a pre-World Cup warm up match at the Alpen Stadion, Austria.
The match will be the first under coach Lars Lagerback whose first contact with the team was in Abuja, Thursday, just before their send forth party on Friday,
The team travelled to Essex, London Saturday where they have been undergoing intensive training on tactics and techniques under the watchful eyes of Lagerback and his assistants.
The match against Saudi Arabia will for the first time give Nigerians a glimpse of what to expect at the World Cup proper as it would also give the coach a first view of his Europe-based players working together as a team.
Lagaerback, who was pleased with the number of players that reported in Abuja before their departure is sounding positive from their London base, particularly after their first two training sessions as heÂ said the team was physically strong and showed promise of early blending ahead of the tournament.
On their part, the players who are ready to impress their new coach would do everything possible to make the final squad. â€œThe struggle for shirts is intense and nobody wants to fritter away the opportunity of going to the World Cup,â€a camp source told Sports Vanguard, adding, â€œit has been tough as brothers have been pitched against brothers. But it has been a very fair competition.â€
Skipper of the team, Nwankwo Kanu, had promised Nigerians of their total commitment and dedication as they prepare to face the world.
Lagerbackâ€™s Eagles are also expected to play two more friendly matchesÂ before the World Cup begins on June 11.
Nigeria will receive a fee of $50,000 from the Football Association of Saudi for the warmÂ upÂ matchÂ in Austria,