Xavier signals out Iwobi ahead of Nigeria meeting
Assistant coach Cleber Xavier has warned Brazil to watch out for Nigerian star Alex Iwobi when the two nations go head-to-head in Sunday’s friendly.
Brazil take on Nigeria in an international friendly at The National Stadium in Singapore on Sunday in what will be just the second senior meeting between the two countries, having only previously met in 2003 when the Selecao ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The Super Eagles are on a disappointing run of form heading into the contest, having drawn 2-2 with the Ukraine in a friendly in September before being thrashed 4-1 by Togo in the African Nations Championship that same month.
Sunday’s encounter will be a step up for Gernot Rohr’s men but a strong squad has been named for the match, with the likes of Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze and Rangers’ Joe Aribo all in line to play.
However, Brazil assistant Xavier has singled out Everton winger Iwobi, who arrived at Goodison Park from Arsenal in the summer, as the main threat for Nigeria and has warned his side about the 23-year-old’s ability.
“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton,” he was quoted as saying by www.footballlive.ng. “He is the link in the counter-attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.”
Nigeria will be hopeful of putting in a strong performance on Sunday and punters may decide to use their free bet on Iwobi helping his side to a first victory over five-time world champions Brazil.
Brazil were in action on Thursday as they drew 1-1 against Senegal in a friendly. Tite’s side took a ninth-minute lead through Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino before a penalty in first-half-stoppage time from Bristol City striker Famara Diedhiou levelled the scores.
The match was also a landmark for Paris Saint-German’s Neymar, who earned his 100th cap.