After disappointing results s in their respective group games in the first round of matches in Group B, both Nigeria and Greece will be trying to prove to their fans that they’re not in South Africa just to make up the numbers as they play each other at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Greece struggled tremendously with the superior energy levels of South Korea in their first game. So Coach, Otto Rehhagel will have to change his game plan for the game against Nigeria, a team who will punish this lethargic-looking Greece team if possession is surrendered to them as easily as it was to South Korea.
Nigeria vs Greece Betting Odds for World Cup Match:
Over 2.5 (+140)
Under 2.5 (-200)
For Greece to stand a chance of progression from the group stage, they certainly have to get Theofanis Gekas more involved in the play. The small-statured striker’s game was limited by Greece’s dismal efforts at playing long passes from defensive positions. An experienced coach such as Otto Rehhagel will surely be working on ways of giving his midfield players more time on the ball to allow them to feed Gekas in and around the penalty area, where he is at his most effective.
For Nigeria, the key against Argentina was to put in the kind of performance that would a statement about their intentions to compete at South Africa 2010. While they didn’t produce a spectacular display, a few of their players came out of the game with bolstered reputations thanks to their efforts against tricky and highly skilled opposition.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was the standout performer in their first game, when he produced five top-class saves from shots fired from the famous left boot of Lionel Messi. Nigeria’s central defensive paring, Joseph Yobo and Danny Shittu will be less troubled against Greece who don’t have the kinds of players with the pace and natural dribbling ability that caused so many problems at the back in the game against Argentina. Obafemi Martin looked dangerous when he came on as a substitute in the first group game, and his eye-catching performance against Argentina should be enough to ensure that he starts this time around.
Although this game is expected to be very tight, both teams though will have to push forward looking for the victory, because defeat here could mean a swift exit from this year’s competition. Nigeria should edge this encounter due to their superior speed and energy levels. If Martins starts in attack alongside Victor Obinna for Nigeria, Greece’s defense will struggle. In the South Korea game, we saw how fragile Greece are at the back, and Nigeria are equally as capable at producing the same kinds of fast-paced breaks from midfield, which could all but end Greece’s participation at South Africa 2010.
Nigeria vs Greece Match Prediction: Nigeria 2-0 Greece.
Did you know you can Bet World Cup 2010 Online?