Opinion: Analyzing the best Nigeria midfield trio to take on Croatia on Saturday

As the weekend game between Nigeria and Croatia draws nearer, we take a look at one of the delicate positions that can make or mar the Super eagle’s world cup aspirations. The possible blend of players to feature in the midfield comes to mind. It’s no longer news that Zlatko Dalic deploys a compacted 4-5-1 formation when out of possession and a flexible 4-3-3 formation when they are with the ball while Gernot Rohr on the other hand prefers a 4-3-3 formation as on offensive formation while a 4-4-1-1 formation when the super eagles are defending the ball, this defending formation will certainly affect their goal odds on Big free bet sites.

Comparison between the two team shows that they are matched in the attacking department with Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic and Kramaric been cancelled out by a trio of Victor Moses,Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi. The Midfield however have become the likely factor that will determine the outcome of the game as it’s the natural operating site of the two sides. Croatia team boasts of one of the possible best Midfield trio in the competition with Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Matteo Kovacic all plying their trade in the top flight of Spain with elite teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Fiorentina player Badelj and Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic also provides an alternative for Croatian tactician Zlatko Dalic. Nigeria midfield despite the lagging behind the Croatia midfield in terms of quality still boasts of experienced player as well as players plying their trade in top tier European leagues with John Mikel Obi, Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi all in contention. Etebo, John Ogu and Joel Obi offers Gernot Rohr tactical option and alternatives in the middle of the park.

The Two teams with a lot of tactical similarities and yet players different will be in loggerheads on Saturday. While we expect Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic to start while a choice will be made with either Badelj or Kovacic, we take a look at the possible trio in the Nigerian team that can override the trio. Luka Modric no doubt will be tasked with the role of the playmaker in the game as the 32yr old player remains the most experienced in the side.

Rakitic on the other hand have proved to be valuable in the middle of the park particularly when the team is behind the ball. The experience possessed by the Barcelona player makes him a difficult player to take on in the middle of park. Badelj or Kovacic will be tasked with defensive duty of opening or shutting off the midfield.

Nigeria on the other hand will rely John Mikel Obi is to lead the team with his wealth of experience. Ogenyi Onazi is expected to play in his preferred defensive midfield position considering his experience and quality while a decision need to be made between Wilfred Ndidi and Etebo.

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