By Solomon Nwoke
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has unveiled six international friendly matches against Poland,England, Serbia, Czech Republic and DR Congo and a yet-to-be-named South American team that would ensure that the senior national team prepares well ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
According to the line up of matches reeled out yesterday in Lagos, the Super Eagles will square up with Poland on March 23 in Poland and against Serbia on March 27 in the United Kingdom, before playing at home against DR Congo on May 28 in Abuja.
Eagles will again take on a fellow World Cup bound England team at Wembley on June 2 before their final warm up friendly against Czech Republic in Austria on June 6.
Briefing the media on the Eagles road map to the World Cup, the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick said the team’s first phase camping will hold in Abuja or Uyo between May 22 and 30, while the second phase camping will hold at a health resort in Austria June 3 – 11.
The close camp at the Eagles’ official World Cup team base camp is at Yessentuki, Stavropol Territory in Russia’s southern region, starting June 11.
“The game against DR Congo in May will afford the fans, media and everyone the opportunity to see the Super Eagles play before they fly out to Europe to conclude preparations,” he said.
On his part, the Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr stressed the importance of playing teams with a similar style to their World Cup opponents and we’ve got two going to Russia from Eastern Europe.
“Nigeria have chosen the Eastern European oppositions Poland, Serbia and Czech Republic with the hope that they will provide ideal preparation for their opening Group D game against Croatia in Russia on June 16.
“The opening game is the most important match and we hope to prepare for it – against opponents similar to Croatia,” Rohr said.
Eagles will then face Iceland on June 22 before finishing with Argentina four days later.