Confederations Cup Preview: Nigeria - Spain
La Roja need just one point from their final group match to guarantee progress to the semifinals, while the Super Eagles must equal or better Uruguay's result against Tahiti.
By Karthick Arvinth
Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi will not be involved in Sunday's crunch clash against Spain in Fortaleza because of a knee injury. Coach Stephen Keshi confirmed this week that the Lazio player will stay back in Nigeria for treatment after previously expressing optimism that he could be fit in time to feature in the tournament.
Winger Nnamdi Oduamadi is a doubt after picking up a knock in the defeat against Uruguay. Striker Ideye Brown could keep his place in the starting XI ahead of Anthony Ujah.
Spain is expected to recall several of its key players after fielding a largely second-string team against Tahiti.
Roberto Soldado may be preferred as the central striker ahead of Fernando Torres and David Villa, who shared seven goals between them in the 10-0 hammering of the Pacific islanders, having sat out following the 2-1 win over the Copa American winner.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Nigeria has only won two of its last six international fixtures (W2, D3, L1). However, the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay on Thursday ended a 19-match unbeaten run.
- The Super Eagles' only previous competitive encounter with Spain ended in a 3-2 victory in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup.
- John Obi Mikel (pictured, right) made his 50th appearance for Nigeria in the defeat against Uruguay, crowning the landmark with a goal.
- Spain is on a five-game winning run and is unbeaten in its last 24 matches.
- La Roja last faced African opponents in the previous edition of the Confederations Cup in 2009. They beat host nation South Africa 3-2 in the third-place playoff.
- Only a defeat by four goals or more against Nigeria would put Spain at risk of elimination from the tournament.
Top 3 Predictions
Nigeria 2-1 Spain
- 12.54 %
Nigeria 1-3 Spain
- 11.77 %
Nigeria 0-3 Spain
- 10.42 %
|FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||Jun 23, 2013||Nigeria 0 - Spain 3|
|Mar 5, 2014||Mexico 0 - Nigeria 0||FR|
|Feb 1, 2014||Zimbabwe 0 - Nigeria 1||CHAN|
|Jan 29, 2014||Nigeria 0 - Ghana 0||CHAN|
|Jan 25, 2014||Nigeria 4 - Morocco 3||CHAN|
|Jan 19, 2014||Nigeria 3 - South Africa 1||CHAN|
|3||Uwa Elderson Echiejile||Defender|
|10||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|7||Ahmed Firaz Moosa||Striker|
|-||John Ogochukwu Ogu|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed