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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Former captain urges Nigeria attack
Segun Odegbami
Odegbami was captain in the 1970s

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Former Nigeria captain Segun Odegbami says the Super Eagles should go on the attack right from the start in Friday's match against Sweden.

"My strategy would be to go all out from the word go", Odegbami said.

"If we don't win this game it is the end of the experiment. It's win or you are out, so the game means everything."

Nigeria are the youngest side at the World Cup and are in the process of re-building after coach Adegboye Onigbinde decided to leave out several of their most experienced players.

Sweeping changes

They have to beat Sweden to have a realistic chance of making the second round after losing their opening game to Argentina.

Odegbami, who played for Nigeria for eight years from the late '70s, says he would make some major changes to the starting line-up.

"I would not play Kanu, even if he says he has recovered from injury," Odegbami said.

"He won't be 100% fit. I would rather people who could run for the full 90 minutes. And I would not play Sodje, because he's not completely fit either."

Garba Lawal is also unlikely to start after a poor game against Argentina.

"There are other people in the squad who I would start with who would be more attacking, and I would change the positions of some others to have a 4-4-2 formation", said the former skipper, who is travelling with the Nigerian team.

"Having Yobo at right-back gives us a better attacking option, and I would start with Babayaro as his opposite number on the left, though that might not happen."

Expectations not high

In Wednesday's training game, Rabiu Afolabi, Eric Ejiofor and Ifeanyi Udeze - who is now is free to play after serving his one-match ban - were all tried out in defence.

And forward John Utaka has been mentioned a possible attacking option on the left.

Odegbami acknowledges that the Super Eagles will find it tough going to qualify.

"Nigerians have accepted that we are in the process of creating a new team, so expectations are not high, despite what has been said to the contrary."


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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