Tough opening test for hosts
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With a sell-out crowd of 60,000 expected at the Abuja National Stadium in the Nigerian capital, the host nation are set to kick off their Group A campaign at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009 against European champions Germany.

The game
Nigeria - Germany, Saturday 24 October, Abuja, 19.00 (local time)

The stakes
As two sides well accustomed to competing on the global stage, Nigeria and Germany will be highly aware of the importance of opening games - particularly when they come against fellow tournament contenders. And with stern tests against section rivals Honduras and Argentina to follow, this Group A clash between the reigning U-17 world champions and their European counterparts could hardly be bigger.

Expected by their supporters to defend the crown won at Korea 2007 and thus move ahead of Brazil onto a record four world titles at this level, the Golden Eaglets will certainly experience pressure on home soil. And having qualified automatically as hosts, they would not they have wished to face arguably their toughest group rivals first, having missed out on the competitive edge that qualifying brings.

The stat
2
- Nigeria and Germany have met on two previous occasions in tournament history, with the African side winning 2-0 at China 1985 and 3-1 at Korea 2007. Will it be third time lucky for the young Mannschaft?

The words
"Ghana's victory at the U-20 World Cup has inspired us. Africa's time has come, it's our year. We have to try and match their feat, especially because we're playing at home. We've prepared well and that gives us confidence for the tournament ahead." Fortune Chukwudi, Nigeria defender and captain

"We have to focus on our own strengths and not let ourselves be overwhelmed by our surroundings. On the contrary, we should draw extra motivation from it because there's nothing better for a player than performing in such a heated atmosphere." Marco Pezzaiuoli, Germany coach