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Starting XI: Croatia v Nigeria

2018 World Cup 

Teams: Croatia v Nigeria 

Date: 16 June 2018

Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium

Nigeria will be hoping to fare better than the other African nations in their opening World Cup game when they take on Croatia this evening.

The match is scheduled to get underway at 21h00.

The two teams will be meeting for the first time but both have returned to the World Cup stage after participating at the 2014 global showpiece in Brazil.

Croatia will be banking on their experience in Brazil 2014 in gauging Nigeria as they thrashed West African side Cameroon 4-0 in the group stages.

However, the Vatreni will want to improve from their last showing at the World Cup after they could not get past the group phase four years ago.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will also draw on their experience four years ago in meeting with a Balkan opposition at the World Cup after they overcame Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in the group phase.

That was their only win in their last six World Cup meetings with UEFA representatives.

Nigeria did relatively well at the 2014 World Cup, getting past the group stages but came unstuck against France in the last 16.

Gernot Rohr’s troops may be a little bit short on confidence following recent defeats to Czech Republic and England in pre-World Cup warm-up friendlies.

Here's how they line up:

Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitić, Modric; Perisic, Mandzukic, Rebic; Kramaric.

Nigeria:Francis; Idowu, Ekong, Balogun, Shehu; Ndidi, Etebo; Iwobi, Obi Mikel, Moses; Ighalo.


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