Gernot Rohr: Nigeria will Defeat Croatia

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be kicking off their sixth World Cup campaign on Saturday, June 16.

Though he stated on previous occasions that his team are not prepared for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Gernot Rohr is in no doubt that Nigeria will make it in time for their opening Group D clash against Croatia.

The Super Eagles head into the World Cup in lackluster style, with the record of their final three friendlies having two losses and a draw.

But Rohr hinges his hope on the capacity of his team ‘to rise to the occasion together', and is convinced of the three-time African champions handing Zlatko Dalic's men a tough test at the Kaliningrad Arena on Saturday.

“We will take it one match at a time. I love this group because we know how to rise to the occasion together. Nigeria will be ready for Croatia,” the German tactician told NFF website.

Nigeria are lowly ranked in Group D, which is made up of Argentina [5th], Saturday opposition Croatia [20th] and Iceland [22nd].

Losses to England as well as Czech Republic culminated in Nigeria heading to the World Cup as the worst-placed African side [48] in FIFA ranking.

Nevertheless, Rohr, reiterating his team's captain John Obi Mikel's stance, is ‘okay' with his side's ‘underdog' tag.

“We are okay with the garb of the underdog. But the defeats have done something for us – we have our heads firmly on our shoulders and we are focused.

“Together, we have reviewed the matches and learnt so many lessons. We will approach the World Cup matches differently.”

On Monday, the Super Eagles will head off from their Aviva Resort camp, Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Austria to resume at their World Cup base camp in Essentuki, Russia.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

Greg is a Sports content writer. He has many years of experience in Sports Writing. He was a writer for Opera News and is Editor-in-Chief at GoalBall.