By Johnny Edward:
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is set to ring changes to his starting line’up and formation ahead of his side’s crucial game against Iceland at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup in Volgograd on Friday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Rohr, who admits his side are under pressure to make the Nigerian fans back home proud, will deploy a three-man defence against Iceland in a bid to record his first win at the tournament.
John Ogu and Kenneth Omeruo are the likely options for the left side of the three-man central defence.
The German will also stick with his captain Mikel Obi in midfield for the crucial game but it remains to be seen if Odion Ighalo will keep his place in attack. Ighalo has failed to score in his last seven Super Eagles games.
“There was Etebo playing No.6 doing very well and there was also Wilfred Ndidi doing very well playing No.6,” Rohr said in a media conference on Wednesday in Essentuki.
“Perharps he (Jose Mourinho) wants us to play with three No.6 and that is problemic. All the games we have played in the last two years since i arrived in Nigeria Obi Mikel has played in the offensive role giving decisive passes. Remember against Cameroon which we won 4-0. It was the same organisation.
“If we had played Mikel as a No. 6 and a wrong N0.10 you will ask why we decided to change his (Mikel’s) role now,” Rohr said reacting to Mourinho’s comment about Mikel being wrongly deployed in an offensive position.
“Nine out of the 11 players in the starting line-up against Croatia played their first World Cup match. Of course, nerves played a role there. But we worked on our set-pieces – both the offensive and the defensive ones. We know that we need to improve them.”
Nigeria currently occupy bottom place in Group D, with Iceland joint’second with Argentina whom they face in Volgograd on Friday.
Group D standings
Croatia 3 points
Iceland 1 point
Argentina 1 point
Nigeria 0 point