Nigeria will face Poland in an international friendly as both sides begin their World Cup preparations on Friday evening at Stadion Miejski in Wroclaw.
Poland will play their first of four pre-World Cup friendlies in front of the home crowd, hosting the Super Eagles.
They finished the last year with unconvincing displays against Uruguay and Mexico and Adam Nawalka’s men now look to bounce back from a loss to El Tri, building on consistency ahead of the all-important trip to Russia.
This was only their first home loss since early June 2016, though, and the 1-2 loss to the Netherlands ahead of Euro.
Poland are always very confident in front of their crowd since then and although they’re in for no easy task and the Red and Whites have what it takes to show off such a character once again.
Nigeria have enjoyed International football recently and although Gernot Rohr’s men came into the match after a 4-0 thrashing in African Nations Championship Final to Morocco, it does feel their approach deserves praise.
They’ve connected four wins in a row beforehand and had much more playing time together, as they narrowly beat Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, and Sudan!
Super Eagles have a very young outfit and we’ll surely see them very motivated to impress in Wroclaw, enjoying every big game they can get ahead of the World Cup.
This will be their first head to head clash against Poland ever and many feel the home side have more depth in quality, but we do believe they’re in for a great task on the day.
The three-time African champions are expected to be competing in six friendlies ahead of their trip of Russia.
Four days after their meeting with Adam Nawalka’s side, the Super Eagles will be going head-to-head with Serbia.
Both teams have not met before, neither on international friendly nor in FIFA competition.
Last Matches: Poland
FI Poland Mexico 0-1
FI Poland Uruguay 0-0
WC Poland Montenegro 4-2
WC Armenia Poland 1-6
WC Poland Kazakhstan 3-0
Last Matches: Nigeria
ANC Morocco Nigeria 4-0
ANC Sudan Nigeria 0-1
ANC Nigeria Angola 2-1
ANC E/Guinea Nigeria 1-3
ANC Libya Nigeria 0-
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United)
Goalkeeper: Artur Boruc, Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Skorupski.
Defender: Jaroslaw Jach, Bartosz Bereszynski, Thiago Cionek, Tomasz Kedziora, Kamil Glik, Michal Pazdan, Maciej Rybus, Artur Jedrzejczyk.
Midfielder: Kamil Grosicki, Rafal Kurzawa, Maciej Makuszewski, Damian Kadzior, Karol Linetty, Jacek Goralski, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Pawel Wszolek, Rafal Wolski, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Piotr Zielinski, Krzysztof Maczynski, Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Attacker: Jakub Swierczok, Mariusz Stepinski, Kamil Wilczek, Robert Lewandowski.
Facts about Eagles friendly opponent, Poland
Poland Made Her First World Cup Appearance In 1938
Poland’s first ever appearance at the FIFA World Cup was at the 1938 edition which was held in France.
In their only game of the tournament, Poland lost 6-5 to Brazil after extra-time to crash out in the first round.
Poland Finished Third In World Cup Twice
At the 1974 World Cup in Germany, Poland had their first impressive outing since their debut in 1938.
In the third place match, Poland pipped Brazil 1-0 to finish behind winners West Germany and runners-up Netherlands.
And in the 1982 edition in Spain, Poland replicated their feat of 1974 by beating France 3-2 to claim third place.
Nigerian-Born Emmanuel Olisadebe played for Poland at the 2002 World Cup
After becoming a Polish citizen in 2000, Nigerian-born striker Emmanuel Olisadebe was part of the country’s (Poland) squad to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.
Olisadebe scored Poland’s first goal at the 2002 World Cup in their last group game against USA which the Poles won 3-1. Poland lost 2-0 to hosts South Korea and 4-0 against Portugal.
During the qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup, he scored eight goals in 10 qualification matches.
Poland Missed 2010, 2014 World Cups
The Poles failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups in South Africa and Brazil respectively.
Poland were at the Germany 2006 World Cup where they crashed out in the first round.
They were in the same group with hosts Germany, Costa Rica and Equador and won just one group game (2-1 against Costa Rica).
Polish Striker Robert Lewandowski is top Scorer in German Bundesliga
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is currently the top goal scorer in the German Bundesliga.
Lewandowski who narrowly missed out on the top scorer award last season to former Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has scored 23 goals so far.
Aubameyang who has since left Dortmund for Arsenal and Nils Petersen of Freiburg are both tied on 13 goals.
Polish-Born Strikers Miroslav Klose, Lukas are W/Cup winners with Germany
Originally from Poland, both Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski were part of the German squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
At the 2014 World Cup, Klose emerged the all-time World Cup top scorer with 16 goals, usurping former Brazilian star Ronaldo who has 15 goals.
Klose made his World Cup debut in Korea/Japan 2002 while Podolski’s first appearance was in Germany 2006.1