Soccer Scene

Preview: Nigeria - Republic of Ireland
Friendly
29.05.2009 at 20:00 - Craven Cottage

The Republic of Ireland will face Nigeria in a friendly on Friday, May 29. The match will be hosted by the FAI at Craven Cottage, London, home of English Premier League side Fulham. The kick-off time has been confirmed at 8pm. Tickets are available from £20 for adults and £5 for juniors

Undefeated in their World Cup qualifying campaign, the Republic of Ireland are currently joint top of Group 8 with World Cup holders Italy. The Super Eagles will provide a stern test to Giovanni Trapattoniís side and are likely to call on players such as John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins, and Fulhamís Dickson Etuhu. Nigeria are ranked second highest in Africa and currently lie six places above the Republic of Ireland in the FIFA World rankings. The friendly will provide important preparation for the Republic of Irelandís World Cup qualifying match against Bulgaria a week later on June 6.

Rep of Ireland v Nigeria:
Friday May 29, 2009
Craven Cottage, London
Kick-Off: 8:00pm

Republic of Ireland will be hoping their recent impressive run of form continues against Nigeria on Friday.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men have made an unbeaten start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, sitting second in Group Eight behind world champions Italy after six games.

With their next challenge on the road to South Africa set to take them to Bulgaria on 6th June, they will be looking to take a positive result from a friendly meeting with Nigeria.

The Super Eagles have reached the final stage of African qualifying for the World Cup and are looking to reach football's showpiece event for a fourth time.

They can boast a number of European-based talents and will also be hoping to build up morale ahead of the resumption of qualification duties in June.
Debuts

Ireland will use the game to take a look at some of their promising youngsters, with Trapattoni keen to assess his stars of the future.

That means the likes of Kevin Foley, Eddie Nolan, Sean St Ledger, Liam Lawrence and Leon Best could all be handed their debuts.

Preston centre-half St Ledger is likely to be awarded a starting berth following an impressive season with Alan Irvine's men, while Coventry striker Best is expected to partner national skipper Robbie Keane in attack.

With Dean Kiely having walked out on the squad after finding out that he was destined to spend the game on the bench, Manchester City's Shay Given and Coventry's Keiren Westwood will battle it out for the No.1 jersey.

Experiment

Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu will also be looking to use the match as a platform on which to test out some of those players currently on the fringes of his squad.

Aberdeen youngster Sone Aluko could therefore be handed a senior bow, while Crystal Palace starlet Victor Moses is also in contention.

The Eagles ace starred for England's U21 side during his early years at Selhurst Park, but has opted to commit his international future to the land of his birth.

Nigeria will be without experienced stars such as Joseph Yobo, Obafemi Martins, Taye Taiwo and John Obi Mikel, but Portsmouth duo Kanu and John Utaka will be hoping for a run-out.

History


H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / -
H 1 0 0 1 1 - 2 -1
A 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 +0
N 2 0 1 1 1 - 4 -3
Total 3 0 1 2 2 - 6 -4


Date&time Comp. H / A / N Final score
29.05.2009 at 20:00 Friendly N 1 - 1
29.05.2004 at 15:00 Tournament N 0 - 3
16.05.2002 at 00:00 Friendly H 1 - 2
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