World Cup 2014: Iran an unknown quantity, says Mikel

John Mikel Obi

Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi revealed he knows little about Iran but has not watched video clips of them to prepare for Monday's World Cup match.

Iran are ranked one place higher than Nigeria in Fifa's rankings but Mikel said: "I don't know too much about Iran. I haven't seen them play.

"We will discuss them but we've never tended to look at video clips.

"I'm not sure how much you can learn from clips. Just go into the game and you are face-to-face."

It is likely that Nigeria's preparations will be a little more thorough than Mikel suggests, but he is keener to stress the strengths of his own team than talk about the opposition.

He also knows it is vital for the African champions to get off to a good start in Group G, with matches against Argentina and Bosnia-Hercegovina to follow.

"It is going to be a tough game. Iran are a very good team, very together and teams like that are very difficult to beat. But we will find a way," he said.

"We have fast players and a lot of attacking talent; we have Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Peter Odemwingie and we also have Shola Ameobi if we want to use someone who can hold the ball up.

"In midfield and defensively we are strong as well and we can rely on the attackers to break quickly and cause teams problems.

"The first game is key, it's important to get off to a winning start and hopefully we will do that."