The draw for the 2015 Fifa U-17 World Cup holds in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Thursday, and coach of Nigeria cadet team Emmanuel Amuneke is not growing too expectant.
The Golden Eaglets will bid to extend their record at the Fifa U-17 Championship at this year’s tournament slated for 17 October through 8 November, but must first settle terms with fate during the official draw ceremony billed for the Art Centre 660 at 20:00hrs local time (12:00AM in Nigeria).
Nigeria – winner of the tournament for a record fourth term in 2013 – are expected to be seeded at the draw, as well as host nation Chile, to be drawn against 22 other qualified teams.
The coach Amuneke – led charges secured their berth at the biennial competition by reaching the semi-finals of the Caf U-17 Championships in Niger Republic earlier this year.
the one-time African footballer of the year is confident the Eaglets will be ready for a successful title defense at the finals, but says he does not expect an easy draw however.
Amuneke told thenff.com: “We are waiting to see who and who we are going to meet after the draw on Thursday. Though we don’t have the luxury of choosing the teams we want, we are preparing well for the tournament and we would be ready to give a good account of ourselves.”
The 24 – team cast is made up of six from Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, Croatia and England); four from Asia (Australia, Korea Republic, Syria and Korea DPR); four from North America (Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and USA); five from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay and host Chile); one from Oceania (New Zealand) and; the African quartet of Mali, Guinea, South Africa and Nigeria.
The tournament will be staged across eight Chilean cities, namely La Serena, Coquimbo, Vina Del Mar, Chillan, Talca, Santiago De Chile, Concepcion and Puerto Montt.