After a brilliant outing in 2013 where they emerged African champions, played in the Fifa Confederations Cup and sealed a place at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, Nigeria will be seeking to begin the New Year on a great note when they face Mexico at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Beside serving as a tool for team selection process, Stephen Keshi’s side will be gunning for their first win against the mexican having forced them to a 2-2 draw in their last two meetings in 2007 and 2013.
Mexico began their 2014 campaign on a bright note by spanking Korea Republic 4-0 in San Antonio on January 29 and with just five games till they face Cameroon in the World Cup opener on June 13, Miguel Herrera’s squad will look to impress the former Club America boss.
Keshi welcomes back captain Joseph Yobo to his team since his last appearance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He has invited three new players – former junior international Ramon Azeez, and Belgium-based strikers Imoh Ezekiel and Michael Uchebo.
With the Super Eagles bereft of Bright Dike, Nnamdi Oduamadi and Brown Ideye for this encounter, Ezekiel, Ejike Uzoenyi, and Uchebo have the chance to make a bold claim towards the World Cup squad.
The friendly will also give the ‘Big Boss’ a chance to take a closer look at his reliable Europe-based players like Victor Moses, John Obi Mikel and perhaps Emmanuel Emenike who only recently returned from injury.
Nigeria’s backline will have to watch out for Tigres forward Alan Pulido who marked his international debut for Mexico with a hat trick last month against Korea Republic.