The game against Miguel Herrera’s men will provide Stephen Keshi with an insight on the strength of his team ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup
After a brilliant outing in 2013 where they emerged African champions, played in the Fifa Confederations Cup and sealed a place at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, Nigeria will be seeking to begin the New Year on a great note when they face Mexico at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Beside serving as a tool for team selection process, Stephen Keshi’s side will be gunning for their first win against El Tri having forced them to a 2-2 draw in their last two meetings in 2007 and 2013.
Mexico began their 2014 campaign on a bright note by spanking Korea Republic 4-0 in San Antonio on January 29 and with just five games till they face Cameroon in the World Cup opener on June 13, Miguel Herrera's squad will look to impress the former Club America boss.
Keshi welcomes back captain Joseph Yobo to his team since his last appearance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He has invited three new players - former junior international Ramon Azeez, and Belgium-based strikers Imoh Ezekiel and Michael Uchebo.
With the Super Eagles bereft of Bright Dike, Nnamdi Oduamadi and Brown Ideye for this encounter, Ezekiel, Ejike Uzoenyi, and Uchebo have the chance to make a bold claim towards the World Cup squad.
The friendly will also give the ‘Big Boss’ a chance to take a closer look at his reliable Europe-based players like Victor Moses, John Obi Mikel and perhaps Emmanuel Emenike who only recently returned from injury.
Nigeria’s backline will have to watch out for Tigres forward Alan Pulido who marked his international debut for Mexico with a hat trick last month against Korea Republic.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Nigeria and Mexico will be meeting for a fourth time
- Javier Hernandez (pictured, right) scored a brace in both sides’ last meeting
- Joseph Yobo could earn his 96th cap for Nigeria.
- Both teams will be competing at the Fifa World Cup in June.
- Mexico are ranked 21st in the world by Fifa while Nigeria are ranked in 47th place.