Flying Eagles begin their Under-20 World Cup campaign today in Turkey with a rematch of the Toulon invitational against Portugal in Group B.
The game billed for Kayseri, Turkey, will have the Nigerians try to pay back the 2-1 scoreline previously recorded when both teams met in France, where coach Sam Obuh fielded a relatively less experienced side.
Speaking ahead of the match, Nigeria German assistant coach Jurgen Press said he rates Portugal very highly.
“Portugal will be one of the top four teams at this World Cup. They are tactically sound and parade some very experienced players,” he said.
“But we also have a good team and have picked up a few interesting things about them in Toulon which we hope to use in our favour on Friday.”
The coaches will almost likely keep faith with the team to the African Youth Championship with new players WIlfried Ndidi and Michael Olaitan best as covers for regulars like Chizoba Amaefule, Ikechukwu Okorie and skipper Abduljaleel Ajagun.
Winners of the U-20 World Cup in 1909 and 1991, Portugal were beaten in the 2011 edition in Colombia, after making it to the final, by Brazil in extra time.
Coach Edgar Borges has assembled another decent side for Turkey 2013 and will be parading a bulk of the squad from the Toulon Tournament.