Nigeria (0-0-1) vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina (0-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday June 21, 2014, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Bosnia-Herzegovina -116
In pretty much an elimination World Cup match, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria will take the field Saturday night.
Bosnia-Herzegovina gave its best effort in an opening round match against Argentina, but still came up short in a 2-1 loss. Coach Safet Susic has to be pleased with the way his team performed, as the difference in the game was a Lionel Messi goal, and well, not every team has one of those guys. For the most part, Bosnia-Herzegovina played terrific defense and had plenty of chances to put the ball in the net, as Vedad Ibisevic scored the lone goal. The team received an injury scare to captain Emir Spahic, but he’s expected to be ready to go for this match. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s defense gives it a solid chance to walk away from this match with three points.
Nigeria was forced to settle for a draw against Iran, as neither team could find the back of the net. While getting a point for the draw isn’t the end of the world, it’s frustrating knowing that Nigeria had the ball for much of the match and still couldn’t do anything with it. If that wasn’t enough, Nigeria is now dealing with off-the-field distractions in a suicide bombing back at home that has affected the team. Nigeria will also be without one of its key defenders in Elderson Echiejile, who suffered a hamstring injury. Emmanuel Emenike has got to get going for his team to have a shot in this match.
I see Bosnia-Herzegovina getting the victory in this match as its defense is no joke. If you can hold Messi and company to just two goals, Nigeria should be a cakewalk compared to what the team just faced. With the distractions and the pressure defense of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I see this being a tight game but the favorites getting the full three points when it’s all said and done.