Brazil’s Assistant Coach Cleber Xavier has picked out Alex Iwobi as the most dangerous player in the current Super Eagles expected to take on the South Americans in Singapore on Sunday. Speaking ahead of the Brazil versus Nigeria international friendly scheduled to hold on Sunday in Singapore, Xavier said yesterday that the Everton man plays more of an inside role as a second striker.
“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton,” stressed Xavier.
“He is the link in the counter attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.
“Nigeria defend less than Senegal Africa’s topmost team. The Senegalese are more about positioning with (Idris) Gueye marking strongly,” Xavier told BBC yesterday.
Brazil will play the Teranga Lions of Senegal today before taking on Nigeria’s Super Eagles for just the second time as part of a friendly double-header against African opposition in Singapore
Nigeria’s only previous meeting with the Selecao also came in 2003, when goals from Gil, Luis Fabiano and Adriano Leite resulted in a 0-3 defeat for the Super Eagles in Abuja.
On today’s clash with Senegal, Xavier admitted that the Selecao are expecting a stern test when the five-times world champions file out against the Teranga Lions this evening.
“Senegal is a very well trained and strong team,” Xavier noted yesterday evening.
“They (Senegal) conceded few goals during the Africa Cup of Nations with interesting players like Sadio Mane and Idrissa Gueye.
“Ismaila Sarr on the wing is a player of individual actions and in the centre M’Baye Niang plays as a pivot, a support player for Sarr and Mane to feed off.
“It is a direct team that seeks Mane with the long ball, a transition from defence to attack geared around him. It is a demanding team.”
Cameroon are the only African side ever to have beaten Brazil, a 1-0 victory in the 2003 Confederations Cup.
Fresh from winning this year’s Copa America, Brazil plan to use the games to plan for the start of World Cup qualification which starts in March.
“These two friendlies and the two November friendlies will allow us to test new players and to adjust and tweak some tactical details in attack and defense,” explained Xavier.
“We did this in the preparation for the Copa America. We succeeded in the objective of winning and did so unbeaten. Every time the qualifiers become more difficult. It is a very hard competition. Last time we qualified with four rounds to go, which was a great achievement.”