Iran and Nigeria open their World Cup 2014 campaign on Monday at the Arena da Baixada Curitiba at 4:00 pm local time (7:00 am in Australia).
Team Melli is the underdog in this match-up at 3.32 to win the match while the Super Eagles are priced at 1.30 to get full three points.
Iran is also big underdog (7.00) to advance from this group, which also includes Argentina (1.01) and Bosnia and Hersegovina (1.83). Nigeria is pegged at 2.60 to move to the KO stage.
Iran battles not only the Nigerians and their group-mates as they have some internal distractions to tackle as well.
“Before crucial qualifying games against Qatar and South Korea, which were played in extreme conditions of humidity, the equipment delivered was not proper. This could have put Iran out of the World Cup,” shared Iran manager Carlos Queiroz in a The Guardian article.
“It has been alleged, was to order poor-quality kit that the federation president, Ali Kafashian, has advised players to wash in cold water to prevent shrinkage. Players have also been asked not to exchange shirts with the likes of Lionel Messi because replacements are in short supply,” stated in the same report.
“When Queiroz first called me up, I accepted straight away. It is a huge honour to be brought into the national set-up by such a great coach,” shared goalkeeper Daniel Davari in the tournament’s official website. “Queiroz gives off positive vibes. I’ve worked with many different coaches in Germany, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve really benefitted from Queiroz’s experience.”
Nigeria haven’t had any kind of momentum entering their opening assignment— they lost to the United States of America and drew with Scotland and Greece in friendly matches before their trip to Brazil.
Potential Starting 11:
Nigeria (4-3-3): Vincent Enyeama; Juwon Oshaniwa, Godfrey Obabona, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose; John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez; Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa
Iran (4-4-1-1): Daniel Davari; Mehrdad Pooladi, Amir Sadeghi, Jalal Hosseini, Steven Beitashour; Masoud Shojaei, Jevad Nekounam, Andranik Teymourian, Alireza Jahanbakhsh; Ashkan Dejagah; Reza Ghoochannejhad.