Over 180 Million Nigerians will be hoping for a win as the Super Eagles face Croatia today in their first match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Both teams are placed alongside Argentina and Iceland in Group D of the tournament.
The match is to be played at the Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad at 8pm Nigerian time.
A lot of buzz had been created around the Super Eagles several days before the event kicked off on Thursday.
On June 1 when Nike released the team’s official World Cup kits, they were all sold out within three minutes after a whopping three million pre-orders were received.
The Nigerian football team were also ‘officially’ crowned the kings of the fashion for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after their travel outfits to Russia were hailed by the reputable fashion magazine,VOGUE
Speaking with our newsmen on Friday, a Lagos-based medical doctor and Super Eagles fan, Oluwaseun Babalola, said he was hoping for a victory for the team.
“I have bought enough fuel for my generator in case there is outage. I am hosting my friends so that we can watch the match together. It’s a game I won’t miss. Thankfully, I’m not on duty,” he said via a telephone interview.
Chuks Agelebe, a computer scientist in the city, said he had cancelled some of his programmes because of the game.
He said he had also filled his generator with fuel so he wouldn’t miss the match.
He said, “One of my wife’s friends invited us to her birthday party holding on Saturday evening, but I respectfully declined. My wife will represent me.
“It’s a game I can’t afford to miss. I am rooting for the Super Eagles and I hope they will make us proud by winning the game. If they can beat Croatia, it will boost their morale for the next game.”
Falodun Shola wrote on Facebook that he was also anticipating a victory for the Super Eagles in their first game, saying, “I’m thinking about Croatia vs Nigeria. I believe the Super Eagles will fly.”
Victory Omatsola also wrote on the social media platform, saying, “I wish the Super Eagles victory over Croatia. If you feel same way, join me to support the Super Eagles all the way.”
In his post, Ikedinachi Augustine, said he was sure the Super Eagles would win.
“I’m Nigerian; I support the Super Eagles. Their outfit is making serious waves in Russia. They say it’s a step out of the normal.
“The world is celebrating it. I love the Super Eagles. Croatia vs Nigeria is a sure win for Nigeria,” he said.
According to FIFA.com, the Super Eagles are the youngest team at the tournament with 18 players taking part in a FIFA World Cup match for the first time.
The game, billed for 8.00pm Nigeria time is expected to be explosive. The Super Eagles have to redeem the image of Africa as two of the continent’s representatives, Egypt and Morocco stumbled on Friday. While Egypt fell to Uruguay by a lone goal, the Moroccans allowed Iran to run away with a victory.
So, the pressure is on Nigeria to salvage Africa’s pride on Saturday as they meet the experienced Croatian team that boast of the like of Real Madrid’s midfield maestro, Lucas Modric and Juventus’ goal machine, Mario Mandzukic who has 30 international goals for his country.
What is your prediction for today's match?