Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr is excited by the news that Arsenal winger, Alex Iwobi is back in training after being sidelined by injury for five matches.
Iwobi’s return to play is a big injury boost for Rohr two weeks before naming his provisional World Cup roster. Arsenal youth team guru, Jeorge Bird, informed allnigeriasoccer.com that Iwobi trained without any issues yesterday ahead of the Gunners trip to Spain, where they will face Atlético de Madrid in the semifinal of the Europa League today.
Whether the Hale End Academy product will start against the European specialists today is another matter as Wenger named him in the starting lineup in their 2-1 loss to Manchester United last weekend.
Iwobi has not started for Arsenal in their last five matches in the Europa League though he has always made the 18, coming off the bench in both legs against CSKA Moscow, while he was a non-playing sub against AC Milan and the first leg against Atlético de Madrid.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sead Kolašinac who had been rated doubtful for the trip to Spain participated in full training along with Iwobi.
The Nigeria international needs five more games to reach a 100-game milestone for Arsenal.
Meanwhile, one of the stars of the Croatian team, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić, who is expected to be handed defensive responsibilities in midfield by manager, Zlatko Dalic when they face the Super Eagles, says they will like to get a win and the three points in the June 16 opener.
Croatia has not made it to the knockout stage of the World Cup since 1998 and know the importance of their first game against Nigeria on June 16.
Given the players that they have, the individual talents in their ranks and overall quality, Croatia are without doubt the favourites to qualify for the last sixteen in Group D, along with Argentina.