By Ighodalo Isiramen
Former Super Eagles star Tijani Babangida has warned the three-time African Champions to be wary of the threats posed by both Croatia and Iceland in the 2018 World Cup Group D.
In a radio interview with Brila Sports monitored by Daily Sunsports, the former Ajax winger ,stressed that Nigeria must not get complacent in thinking that both teams would be a stroll in the pack, if they really want to qualify from the group.
The Atlanta 96 winner said while Argentina will be looking to really prove they are a great side,the Eagles should be careful not to underrate the seemingly underdogs, Iceland and Croatia.
Babangida cautioned the Eagles not to get carried away with the victory over Argentina in the international friendly last month , adding that the World Cup stage is an entirely different ball game.
“The Eagles have a big problem progressing from the group as both Croatia and Iceland are teams that have been doing well”. Babangida said.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Veron has predicted Argentina to go through the World Cup 2018 group stage ‘without a problem’, but he is unsure of what to expect from Nigeria.
Last month, prior to the draw, Gernot Rohr’s side secured a surprise 4-2 win over the two-time World champions in a friendly held in Krasnodar.
But the former Parma player believes the ‘unpredictable’ nature of the three-time African champions makes it hard to pass a verdict on the last group game – involving both sides – billed for the Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26.
“The group in which Argentina is not easy, but it is good that it did not get any big national team,” Veron was quoted as saying by Dnevno.
“Argentina should go through the finals without a problem, and it is good that the quarter-finals do not cross with big teams. That means we have a few games to clear the shape and become even stronger.
“Nigeria is unpredictable. They always come to us in the group. African players are actually unstable and depend on what they have a day before and how they feel ahead of the game,” he continued.
“Croatia is not bad, it has players in the strong clubs in Europe. Truth, the World have gone through the play, but should not be underestimated. We are stronger than them, but we should be careful.
“Iceland has no experience at these championships, but they have played well in the Euro and through qualifications. We can not label it as a surprise, but as a growing representation.”