This evening in the Polish city of Wroclaw. Poland and Nigeria will go head to head as both teams intensify preparation for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria’s camp for this international friendly match opened on Monday with six players, Leon Balogun, William Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi and Brian Idowu arriving the Radisson Blu Hotel camp in Wroclaw that same Monday.
On Tuesday morning the team had a light work out at the hotel’s gym and later in the afternoon at 1500hrs, the Super Eagles of Nigeria had their first training session on Polish soil at the old Śląsk Wrocław stadium, Oporowska street, same stadium the Polish national team also used for their own training session later that Tuesday evening.
The Bialo-Czerwoni (White and Reds) of Poland will have home advantage with the game taking place at the 43,000 capacity Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw but the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be high in confidence, which will be anchored on their 4-2 triumph over La Albiceleste of Argentina in their last friendly match.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of today’s international friendly match against Nigeria, the Polish coach Adam Nawałka stated that the absence of influential Nigerian Captain John Obi Mikel will not make him change his strategy for the game.
”Obi Mikel’s absence does not affect our strategy. We have a plan for the match with Nigeria and South Korea,” Nawałka told reporters.
”Nigeria is a great team. They qualified for the World Cup in good style. They conceded only three goals, they have many players playing in strong clubs and it will be a valuable test for us.”
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr speaking ahead of today’s match has warned the Super Eagles defense to be wary of Bayern Munich and Polish goal king Robert Lewandowski in this evenings pre-World Cup friendly against Poland.
Rohr while speaking to TVP Sport stated that ”I saw that in the match against Leipzig, he did not play much, he entered the last fifteen minutes. Of course, he must be ready for the end of the season at Bayern,” .
”But it will be a great challenge for our central defenders and for the whole team. We can not allow him too many chances”.
”This morning I showed the team his hat-trick in a match against Denmark. He is an outstanding football player, we have known about him for a long time”.
”The whole team must do their job if we do not want to let him score as easily as against Denmark”.
Team News And Possible Line Up For Poland
The Polish team in their last friendly match played against North American power house Mexico adopted a three-man defense set-up and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is hoping to continue with the same set-up in today’s match.
He stated that: “Looking at the training we’ve had so far and last matches of the team you can actually see that we are improving tactically.”
Poland coach Adam Nawalka will certainly want to use today’s match to expose loop holes in his team ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup in June.
The Bialo-Czerwoni (White and Reds) of Poland are almost at full strength with the exception of Dortmund’s Łukasz Piszczek whose wife just delivered and VFL Wolfsburg midfielder Jacub Blaszyczowski who is out injured.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny seems likely to be in goal ahead of Lucaz Fabiański, while the three central defenders will likely be Thiago Cionek (SPAL), Kamil Glik (Monaco) and Michał Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), if the Polish coach goes for a 3-4-3 formation.
The four midfield players for Poland will likely be Krzysztof Mączyński (Legia Warsaw), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Brom), Karol Linetty (Sampdoria) and Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow).
The Polish attack will be spearheaded by the team Captain and Polish all time leading goal scorer Robert Lewandowski, he will be supported by Napoli’s Piotr Zieliński and Hull City’s Kamil Grosicki as the Polish team will be seeking for goals to drown the Super Eagles.
Poland Possible Starting XI Vs Nigeria (3-4-3) : Szczęsny – Cionek, Glik, Pazdan – Mączyński, Krychowiak, Linetty, Rybus – Zieliński, Grosicki – Lewandowski
Team News And Possible Line Up For Nigeria
The young Deportivo La Coruna goal keeper, Francis Uzoho looks set to start his first match for Nigeria ahead of Ikechukwu Ezenwa in this evening’s friendly match against the Bialo-Czerwoni (White and Reds) of Poland.
If Gernot Rohr goes ahead with a 4-3-3 formation which is most likely, then the four man defense should consist of Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05), William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor) and Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm).
In the midfield, the absence of Captain John Obi Mikel has left a big vacuum which we initially thought will be filled by Torino’s Joel Obi but information reaching us suggests that the Super Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr may have decided to play Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho in the number 10 role.
The three man midfield will likely be Eddy Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City).
The attack will consist of the usual suspects Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea) and Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai).
Nigeria Possible Starting XI Vs Poland (4-3-3) : Uzoho – Idowu, Ekong, Balogun, Abdullahi – Onazi, Ndidi, Iheanacho – Iwobi, Moses, Ighalo.
Kick-Off Time, Venue And TV Stations
The friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the White and Reds of Poland kicks off at 8.45pm Nigerian time today 23rd March, 2018 inside the 43,000 capacity Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland.
Allnigeriafootball.com can authoritatively report that the match will be transmitted live on SuperSport 8 on DStv (SS8A) and SuperSport Select on GOtv (SLGO). The match will also be on terrestrial TV stations such as AIT and NTA.