Nigeria’s Super Eagles will on Sunday begin their quest to qualify for their sixth FIFA World Cup tournament by facing Zambia.
With several obstacles surrounding the team’s trip, the Eagles finally landed in Ndola on Saturday and are gearing up for their 17th encounter against the South Africans.
However, with three key players missing the encounter through injury, the number one agenda on the mind of Coach Gernot Rohr is how to neutralise the highly tactical and technically gifted Chipolopolo.
We lend him a helping hand on this very crucial issue by suggesting the most suitable choice of players for each position.
Goalkeeper – Carl Ikeme
There’s absolutely no debate about this one. Wolverhampton man, Carl Ikeme, should get the nod in goal ahead of Dream Team VI goalie, Daniel Emmanuel, and Kelechi Ezenwa of FC IfeanyiUbah.
Defenders: Musa Mohammed, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and Elderson Echiejile
The defence line almost picks itself with the exception of the right back position which will be a straight battle between Musa Mohammed and Shehu Abdullahi. The former started in Rohr’s first game with Abdullahi who shone on the Olympics dropped to the bench. Otherwise, William Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo should play in the heart of the defence with Elderson Echiejile starting at left back.
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Obi and Kelechi Iheanacho
The trio who started the game against Tanzania last month, will most certainly be on the pitch against Zambia. Ogenyi Onazi would be expected to provide shield for the defence while skipper, John Mikel Obi, could continue his new found role which allows him join in the attack. Manchester City wonderkid, Kelechi Iheanacho, should play just behind the striker and occasionally take-up the marksman role.
Attackers: Alex Iwobi, Brown Ideye and Ahmed Musa
Much has been said about Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi, and the youngster will be expected to spearhead the Super Eagles attack which should also feature Brown Ideye and Ahmed Musa. Ideye has been phenomenal for Olympiacos thus far with five goals in nine games while Iwobi has contributed three goals for the Gunners. However, Musa has struggled to make an impact at Leicester City but posses blistering pace that could trouble the Zambians.
Nigeria’s Possible XI vs. Zambia: Ikeme, Mohammed, Omeruo, Troost-Ekong, Echiejile; Onazi, Mikel, Iwobi, Iheanacho, Musa, Ideye