FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Finidi Teases New Formation for Super Eagles vs South Africa and Benin

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Finidi Teases New Formation for Super Eagles vs South Africa and Benin

Ero Samson
updated at May 27, 2024 at 8:40 AM
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  • The Super Eagles are set to face both South Africa and Benin in the FIFA WCQ series
  • The fixtures will mark the commencement of Finidi George’s tenure as Nigeria’s coach
  • The newly appointed gaffer has hinted at a new formation ahead of the crunch fixtures

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Finidi George is ensuring his stint as coach of the Nigeria team is off to the best start as his first assignment as permanent manager draws near.

The 53-year-old is tasked with leading the Super Eagles in the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifications series against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Ahead of these pivotal matches, the former Enyimba manager has suggested a possible formation change to fully harness his team's attacking potential.

Nigeria, tactics, Super Eagles, Finidi George, NFF, Jose Peseiro
The Nigerian team embraced a defensive formation at 2023 AFCON under former manager, Jose Peseiro. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

It's worth noting that the formation used during the final tenure of former manager, Jose Peseiro, at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as well as during Finidi's interim period in the March international window, faced significant criticism for being overly defensive.

In response to these concerns and in an effort to adopt the dynamic attacking style many have been advocating for, Finidi has hinted at the new tactics he plans to implement.

Finidi speaks on new formation for Super Eagles

During his media tour with Arise News, the former Real Betis star emphasised that Nigerians should anticipate a departure from the defensive approach previously employed.

"With the calibre of players we have, we cannot play so defensively.
"In football, you must find the right balance between attacking and defending. If the players understand what we're doing, we can attack effectively and know when to defend."

Elaborating on the style of play his team might adopt, he continued:

"We also struggled offensively, so we need to find that balance. Perhaps the formation needs to change, moving a player from the back to the midfield.
"We used a 3-4-3 formation in the last AFCON, but it might be time to switch back to a 4-3-3 to better utilise our wingers."

Finidi's suggestion of a formation shift is likely to be welcomed positively by many fans of the Nigerian team. However, given the quality of players included in the team sheet for the upcoming fixtures, it will be interesting to see how he plans to implement these changes.

Finidi expresses confidence ahead of South Africa’s game

Sports Brief in another report stated that the coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Finidi, had expressed confidence ahead of their clash against South Africa.

The two African football powerhouses will face off in a FIFA World Cup qualification fixture on June 7.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).