Nigeria face the daunting task of taking on Argentina on Wednesday in their final group game at the 2014 World Cup.
Following the Super Eagles’ 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in their last match, a draw against one of the tournament favourites would guarantee a place into the second round for the first time since 1998.
Nigeria have been eliminated in the group stage of the last two World Cup’s they have qualified for, picking up just 1 point in both 2002 and 2010, finishing bottom of their group.
Four years ago Nigeria became the first nation to lose to Greece at a World Cup. Since then and the appointment of Stephen Keshi Nigeria won the 2013 African Cup of Nations and are now closing in on reach the second round of the World Cup.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has been strong defensively in midfield for Nigeria, making a number of tackles and a couple of interceptions to break up the opposition play. He and Ogenyi Onazi also playing in front of the back four have seen the majority of possession.
Looking at what Betegy.com are predicting in Group F’s final two games, they believe Nigeria will be given a scare by losing to the two-time world champions in Porto Alegre with Argentina having a 51% chance of winning. A point will do for the African side who have a 33% chance of winning.
Nigeria could top the group by recording their first victory at a World Cup against a nation outside of Europe but Betegy only give them a 16% chance. This is only slightly better than what the bookmakers believe with odds of 7/1.
The fan vote has been one-sided with Argentina taking a 100% backing.
However, for Nigeria to be eliminated a loss must be matched by an Iran win and a three-goal swing in favour of the Asian nation. It is not looking too good for the country that was only beaten 1-0 by Argentina through Lionel Messi’s stoppage time winner – Betegy have given Bosnia and Herzegovina a 44% chance of winning.
The only country making their debut at the 2014 World Cup, Bosnia and Herzegovina enter their final match in search of their first-ever points. There is a 36% chance this match will end in a draw whilst Iran have a one in five chance of winning.
Fans think the result will actually be the other way around with 75% of the public voting in favour of an Iran victory.
Chelsea fans will be surely cheering on John Obi Mikel and his teammates to join fellow Blues stars Oscar, Willian and Ramires into the second round.
Incidentally, if Nigeria lose 1-0 and Iran win 1-0 a coin toss will decide which team progresses.
What is your prediction for Nigeria v Argentina?