While Nigeria’s second opponent in the group D preliminaries of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Iceland, has stated that it is their prayer not to melt in the fierce heat of Volgograd, when the country’s national team takes on the Super Eagles of Nigeria today, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured that the Super Eagles players will be very comfortable with the hot weather, despite playing their football in Europe.
Iceland, who are FIFA World Cup debutants, are already dreaming of the knockout stage after their first group game victory against former world champions, Argentina.
NFF First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi said during a media briefing that the anticipated hot weather will be good for the West African country, considering the weather back home, adding that the Super Eagles players are always used to hot weather.
“The reported hot weather will be of no effect to the team. They are all Africans and have been used to the hot weather back home. So I do not think it will to their disadvantage, rather I believe that Iceland players would be the ones to complain and not Nigeria” Akinwunmi said
Weather forecasters are predicting heat of 32 degrees Celsius at kick-off time on June 22, 10 degrees hotter than when Iceland pulled off its 1-1 draw with Argentina on June 16.
Iceland head coach, Heimir Hallgrimsson, expects Nigeria to come out firing against his side in Friday’s Group D clash in Volgograd.
Hallgrimsson told reporters that: “This is a must-win game for Nigeria, and that makes it a little bit psychologically different, they have to win. This group is going to be decided in the last minutes, in the last game. It’s going to be down to some margins, a set piece, a goal in extra time. This is how this group is going to be played.”