Africa champions Nigeria are set to close out a phenomenal
2013 with a clash against Italy at Craven Cottage on Monday.
Both sides have secured their place at next year’s FIFA
World Cup, with this match offering them an opportunity to set the tone for
next year.
The respective mangers will be free will to tinker with
their line-ups in London as they begin preparations for Brazil.
Nigeria will have to consider a replacement for Godfrey
Oboabona, while Italy will look to cover for Andrea Barzagli after both players
were injured and pulled off in their team’s respective matches this past
The Super Eagles were unbeaten in all eight matches of their
World Cup qualifying campaign. They topped Group F to set up a contest against
Ethiopia in the mandatory playoffs.
The men from west Africa won with a 4-1 aggregate score,
after beating Ethiopia 2-1 away in the first leg and 2-0 in the return leg
played on home-soil on Saturday. Goals by Victor Moses and Victor Obinna
cemented their place in the showpiece.
While Nigeria played their CAF play-off, the Azzurri tested
themselves against Germany at the San Siro.
AC Milan right-back Ignazio Abate cancelled Mats Hummels’
goal to secure a 1-1 draw and maintain Italy’s record of having not lost to the
Germans since 1995.
Cesare Prandelli’s charges were convincing in their
qualifying campaign, also going unbeaten to top Group B four points ahead of

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