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Confederations Cup

  • June 23, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, Fortaleza, Ceará
  • Referee: J. Aguilar
  • • Attendance: 51263
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Nigeria-Spain Preview: World champions look to seal last-four berth

Nigeria-Spain Preview: World champions look to seal last-four berth

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La Roja need just one point from their final group match to guarantee progress to the semi-finals, while the Super Eagles must equal or better Uruguay's result against Tahiti


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, while striker Ideye Brown could keep his place in the starting XI ahead of Anthony Ujah.

Spain are expected to recall several of their 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 winners.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Nigeria have only won two of their 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 are on a five-game winning run and are unbeaten in their 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 play-off.
  • Only a defeat by four goals or more against Nigeria would put Spain at risk of elimination from the tournament.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
World - FIFA Confederations Cup ‎(FCC)‎ Jun 23, 2013 Nigeria 0 - Spain 3
  • Player Ratings
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Víctor Valdés
3PiquéDefender
15Sergio RamosDefender
-Arbeloa
6Jordi AlbaDefender
6Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
8XaviMidfielder
10Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
11PedroStriker
-Roberto Soldado
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
23Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Raúl Albiol Defender
2César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Monreal
4Javi MartínezMidfielder
20Santi CazorlaMidfielder
21David SilvaMidfielder
-Jesús Navas González
7David VillaStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
10Juan MataStriker
Players to Watch
John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
3 1 0 0
The sturdy midfielder enhanced his reputation further with a typically industrious performance against Uruguay, capping it with a well-taken goal in the first half. Mikel's defensive qualities will be tested to the limit against Spain, whose possession-heavy style of football could prove intimidating to many in the Nigerian ranks.
Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Valencia forward was something of a left-field inclusion in Vicente del Bosque's 23-man squad for the tournament, despite scoring 30 goals for his club in all competitions last season. Soldado scored what proved to be the winner in the opening match against Uruguay and he will aim to continue his scoring form into the backend of the competition.
Prediction
Nigeria require a bit of miracle to qualify for the semi-finals, seeing as they most likely will have to beat Spain and beat them well to keep their goal difference ahead of Uruguay. The Spanish will go out to win the group in style and book a mouth-watering semi-final date against either Italy or Brazil.
Editor's Prediction
Spain 2

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