NIGERIA are a very hard side to weigh up.


Outright odds: 300/1

To win group: 9/1

To qualify: 6/4


Full squad: Vincent Enyeama (Lille), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC), Joseph Yobo (Norwich City), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Gabriel Reuben (Beveren), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge), Ramon Azeez (Almeria), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce), Peter Odemwingie, (Stoke City), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen), Babatunde Michael (Volyn).

Manager: Stephen Keshi

World Cup record: Last 16 (1994, 1998), group stage (2002, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent first): Beat Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate having previously won a qualifying group featuring Malawi, Kenya and Namibia.

v Ethiopia (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Moses 20, Obinna 81

v Ethiopia (away) 2-1 (HT 0-0) Emenike 67, 90

v Malawi (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Emenike 45+1 Moses 50

v Namibia (away) 1-1 (HT 0-0) Oboabona 82

v Kenya (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Musa 80

v Kenya (home) 1-1 (HT 0-1) Oduamadi 90+4

v Malawi (away) 1-1 (HT 1-1) Egqueke 89

v Namibia (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Uche 80

Goalscorers: Emmanuel Emenike scored three goals, two of which came in the two-legged qualifier against Ethiopia. Victor Moses scored twice.

Half-time/full-time: Just one of Nigeria's three group games saw them lead at half-time, while their second-leg victory over Ethiopia followed suit. Therefore, three of five wins overall saw them go into the break level. Two of their three draws had been level at the break; in the other, they came from a goal down.

Clean sheets: Nigeria kept four clean sheets in eight matches at a ratio of 50 per cent. Not once did they concede more than a goal and this leads to a telling statistic: seven of their eight matches featured under 2.5 goals.

Win to nil: Four of Nigeria's six wins were to nil.

Cards: Nigeria's eight games saw a total of nine cards awarded, all of which were yellow.

Other competitive internationals (most recent first): Nigeria won the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in early 2013. Games for this year's African Nations Championship - in which Nigeria finished third - have been deliberately omitted as that tournament features only players involved in the countries' domestic leagues and therefore lack relevance.

v Burkina Faso (neutral) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Mba 40

v Mali (neutral) 4-1 (HT 3-0) Echiejile 25, Ideye 30, Emenike 44, Musa 60

v Ivory Coast (neutral) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Emenike 43, Mba 78

v Ethiopia (neutral) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Moses 80, 90

v Zambia (neutral) 1-1 (HT 0-0) Emenike 57

v Burkina Faso (neutral) 1-1 (HT 1-0) Emenike 23

Build-up (most recent first): Since qualifying for the World Cup, Nigeria have held fellow qualifiers Italy, Mexico and Greece in friendlies, proving how hard they are to beat.

v Greece (neutral) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Scotland (neutral) 2-2 (HT 1-1) Uchebo 41, Nwofor 90

v Italy (neutral) 2-2 (HT 2-1) Dike 35, Ameobi 39

v Mexico (neutral) 0-0 (HT 0-0)


Team verdict: Nigeria are a hard side to weigh up.

On the one hand, the winners of the Africa Cup of Nations look to have the requisite experience and favourable draw to reach the knockout stages, but on the other they're short of standout quality and lack the potential match-winners of Bosnia, with whom they will surely battle for the Group F runner-up spot behind Argentina.

Chelsea's John Obi Mikel is the star man and will relish this opportunity having been ruled out of the last World Cup with a setback, but when Shola Ameobi is among the options up front you can see where the Super Eagles may struggle.

Those attacking issues showed up in qualifying, where Nigeria had an easy draw but needed to come through a two-legged play-off with Ethiopia. Seven of their eight games before that featured under 2.5 goals and they simply struggle to create chances like the sides who gained so much popularity in the 1990s.

With that in mind, it's somewhat difficult to see them overcoming Bosnia but in their favour is an opening clash with Iran, one which comes with pressure attached but could allow them an opportunity to build confidence before the Bosnia game.

Stephen Keshi's side carry with them confidence, confidence only enhanced by this draw, but their luck may be about to run out.