How they qualified: The 2013 African Cup of Nations winners lived up to their new top billing as they went unbeaten in qualifying. They did draw three times, though, and so had to seal a place in Brazil via the playoffs, where they beat Ethiopia comfortably over two legs.
World Cup pedigree: Nigeria's golden generation impressed in 1994 and 1998, reaching the last 16 on both occasions. They have since struggled with three early exits and just two points taken from their last eight group matches.
Main man: Although he's not exactly a top boy at Chelsea, John Obi Mikel is hugely popular and well-respected in his homeland. He protects Nigeria's back four and releases the players in front of him. With more than 50 international caps under his belt, Mikel's big-match experience is also valuable.
One to watch: Keep an eye on Ahmed Musa – if you can catch him. The diminutive CSKA Moscow striker, 21, has blistering pace, plus the ability to beat a defender. He can finish too.
What are their chances? An exciting prospect but definitely a work in progress. They will bring plenty of youth, pace and athleticism, and the 2013 ACoN triumph shows they can win tournaments, but they may yet be a touch raw to make it much beyond the last 16. They are, however, a good bet to be the best-performing African nation.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim