Nigeria v Bosnia & H Preview

Group F | Saturday 21 June | Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba | 23:59




With Argentina favoured to top Group F, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina go head-to-head in a match that will have a huge bearing on who qualifies for the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup.

To Win (90mins)
Nigeria 7/2
Draw 5/2
Bosnia & H 8/10

NIGERIA

Nigeria were held by Iran to a turgid 0-0 draw in Curitiba on Monday. In stark contrast to the attacking nature of the tournament so far, neither side showed much creativity and the final whistle was met by a cacophony of boos from the mainly Brazilian crowd.

Nigeria's winless streak in the competition extends to nine games stretching back to 1998.

The Super Eagles will be hoping to get their first win of the tournament when they clash with Bosnia praying that their attackers can find the net.

Emmanuel Emenike was unable to break through Iran’s defence. He worked tirelessly to create his own chances as the Nigerian midfield failed to give him the supply he thrives on.

Peter Odemwingie looked lively when he was introduced and may have earned himself a starting role in attack against Bosnia.

Struggling for game time at Liverpool, Victor Moses plays a valuable role for Nigeria.

His work out wide or as a second striker was an important factor in the success of Emenike as the pair combined well at the African Cup of Nations.

Moses’ lack of action at Liverpool is a cause for concern for Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, who views the powerful and pacey player as one of his best attacking threats.

He was quiet in their opening match and failed to make an impact. Like Moses, John Obi Mikel’s time on the bench in the Premier League with Chelsea raises worries for his readiness at the World Cup.

The Super Eagles will need to pull up their socks and turn their possession into genuine goal scoring opportunities if they are to take anything from this match. 

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered a 2-1 defeat to Argentina in their opening match at the Estadio do Maracana on Monday evening.

The European side were arguably the best team on the pitch in the first half and continued to battle in the second as Argentina hit their straps.

Most of the Bosnian players can hold their heads up high, and the side can still be confident of their chances of making the round of 16.

Zvjezdan Misimovic was particularly impressive in conducting his side's play in midfield, while Roma star Miralem Pjanic showed his tremendous ability in bursts.

Encouragingly, none of the Bosnian players on the pitch appeared intimidated by their much-fancied opposition.

Bosnia do not exactly have what you could call World Cup pedigree. In fact, this is the only time that they have appeared at a World Cup as an independent nation.

Despite their complete lack of tournament experience Bosnia have a surprisingly strong starting eleven.

Pjanic will be Bosnia's main creative force and his link-up play with the likes of Eden Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic could potentially be devastating.

The sprightly midfielder put in exceptional performances for all of last season against more competent defences than he will face in Nigeria, and his surges forward from midfield may be enough to cause the Nigerian defence some serious problems.

Ibisevic is an out-and-out goalscorer, and netted 12 goals for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last campaign, a team who were almost relegated and only managed 49 goals overall.

If Pjanic, Dzeko or anybody else can give him the ball in the danger area, then he will almost certainly increase the pressure on the Nigerians.

Betting Prediction: BOSNIA 8/10
While Nigeria scraped through qualifying, drawing with the likes of Malawi, Namibia and Kenya, Bosnia were superb in their UEFA qualifiers, topping their group with eight wins and just one loss from 10 matches and scoring a magnificent 30 goals and conceding just six. Although Bosnia lost 2-1 to Argentina in their opening game, they gave an admiral performance against one of the favourites to win the tournament while Nigeria were a major disappointment in a match many expected them to win. Bosnia and Herzegovina are tipped for the win at 8/10. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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