An excited coach Ladan Bosso hinted on giving Flying Eagles squad players a chance in tomorrow night’s final U20 World Cup Group D match against Brazil, but better judgment is for him to play his best team against the five-time world champions to avoid defeat and the several pitfalls that will follow.
Bosso also needs to put his best XI to build on their winning momentum and team chemistry.
He has already played 16 of the 21 players registered for the tournament, which is a fair number to prove depth in the squad.
The five players yet to see action are two goalkeepers (Nathaniel Nwosu, Otoblo John Audu), winger Kehinde Ibrahim as well as fullbacks Israel Domingo and Augustine Njoku.
The Flying Eagles booked their passage to the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Argentina courtesy of a heart-warming 2-0 win over Italy Wednesday.
Right from the draw, this “Group of Death” promised to be keenly fought section that could go down to the final group games.
Brazil and Italy all look good to join the Flying Eagles to advance to the knockout rounds on the back of their results tomorrow.
A draw or a win over the Flying Eagles will seal Brazil’s qualification, while Italy only need to beat whipping boys Dominican Republic to also go through.
The order of qualification will then be the bone of contention as the tournament tie breakers are first points recorded in all group games, goals difference and then number of goals scored.
The Flying Eagles now need at least a draw tomorrow to win the group to enjoy a more favourable knockout clash against the third best Losers in Groups B (Ecuador), E (Tunisia) or F (Honduras).
As Runners-up in Group D, they face a more daunting task against Group E Winners, who now very much look like the Young Three Lions of England.
A loss to Brazil, who Nigeria are yet to beat at this level, could spell more trouble for the Flying Eagles should Italy also run up the scores against the Dominican Republic after Brazil mauled the debutants 6-0 in midweek.
As third-placed Losers in Group D, the Flying Eagles would have to battle either Group A Winners (hosts Argentina) or Group B Winners (USA) for a place in the World Cup quarterfinal.