The Super Eagles are bound to face very cold conditions during Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup last group match against Argentina, as weather forecasts for Saint-Petersburg indicate that temperature is bound to drop as low as 22 degrees Celsius.
In contrast with relatively hot weather, between 33 and 35 degrees, that apparently suited them against Iceland on Friday, the Nigerian players will now have to adjust to chilly conditions when they kick-off at 7pm on Tuesday.
It is now left to be seen how the Eagles will adjust on match day, but officials in the Nigerian team say the crew has taken extra steps by scheduling condition training sessions to see the players adapt faster and better.
The Eagles on Sunday night arrived in St Petersburg, where their plane landed at Pulkovo Airport around 7pm local time and headed straight to Corinthia Hotel in Nevsky Avenue, where they are lodged.
On arrival, the weather was 13 degrees, but all the players showed enough confidence of not losing to Argentina again on Tuesday, after four times of such defeats in past group games at the World Cup.
The fifth clash is now a decider on who progresses to the knock out stages, with Nigeria going into the game in second place on the table, after a 2-0 win against Iceland and 2-0 loss to Croatia.
Argentina are last on the table with just one point from a 1-1 draw against Iceland and 3-0 defeat by Croatia, which makes Tuesday’s game a must-win for them.
The Nigerian official said all the players know that the clash with Argentina will not be any holiday and so the team is doing everything to ensure it is up to scratch for it.
He added that is why the technical crew are not taking anything for granted, including the weather conditions, which they noted keeps changing from city to city in Russia.
While Volgograd, venue of Friday’s match with Iceland, was almost like what applies at home in Nigeria, St. Petersburg is predicted to be far colder than anything the Super Eagles have encountered in the last six months.
Volgograd fluctuated between 26.6 Celsius and 27 Celsius on Friday, but St. Petersburg is expected to be between 18 degrees Celsius and 22 degrees Celsius on match day.
The official, though, said the players are not worried so much about the weather because most of them live in Europe, some were even born there, and are used to such conditions.
Nonetheless, the official further disclosed that the Eagles’ crew has changed their training pattern, in line with the conditions expected in St. Petersburg when Tuesday’s game begins at 7pm on Tuesday.
He said: “Normally, we usually rest for a day after a match but the coaches took the team to training on Saturday as part of preparation for Tuesday’s match.
“The players are familiar to Europe’s extreme cold weather, but we want to be prepared for on the pitch conditions, which is very important.
“We know St. Petersburg would be colder than Volgograd, so we want to be prepared for it. We will train in St. Petersburg this evening and have a feel of the pitch on Monday.
“The players and officials are ready for anything they will face against Argentina, but we are also working to ensure we don’t experience any surprise in the game.”