Back buoyant Nigeria to frustrate Italy in Craven Cottage clash
Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama will be accused of slight over exuberance after proclaiming that his country could win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer, following their successful play-off clash with Ethiopa.
If you feel the same way as the Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, get on Nigeria at 200/1 to become the first African club to take the biggest prize in football in Rio de Janeiro.
A more sensible way to make money out of Stephen Keshi’s side may be to back the Nigeria double chance of a win or draw at 6/4 when they face Italy at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.
The Azzurri’s 1-1 draw against Germany in Milan looks like decent form at first glance, but Italy have now failed to win 12 of their last 18 matches.
Cesare Prandelli’s men have lost tight encounters with Argentina, Brazil and France over the last twelve months and earned creditable draws against Spain and Uruguay in the Confederations Cup over the summer.
However, stalemates against the Czech Republic, Armenia and Haiti – 80th-place in FIFA’s world rankings – show Italy in a much less favourable light and they cannot be backed with any confidence against a team buoyed from booking their tickets to Brazil.
Prandelli has already said that he will use the friendly in west London to blood fringe players and wants to field an entirely new team at Fulham.
Nigeria have won five of their last six games and went through qualifying without suffering a single reverse.
The African Cup of Nations champions will be hoping on-loan Liverpool forward Victor Moses can come up trumps against the European giants.
The 22-year-old – who’s parent club Chelsea play around the corner from the Cottagers in England’s capital – grabbed his sixth international goal in his 16th game for Nigeria against the Walias at the Abuja Stadium.
Nigeria have scored twice in each of their last five wins and look well-in to bag at least a brace against the Azzurri at 7/2 odds.