By Obiaju Akachukwu,
German tactician Gernot Rohr has had a very impressive start to his tenure as the super eagles coach, after a dark time in Nigerian football, where they struggled to qualify for the last nations cup in Gabon, a country known for its footballing exploits on the continent had an abysmal outing in the qualifiers under the tutelage of ex super eagles player Sunday Oliseh.
It finally looks like the glory days are back to Nigerian football, after a resounding four nil victory over African defending champions Cameroon in Uyo, and a draw in the return leg in Yaounde sending them three points clear of Zambia at the top of the table with 10 points accrued in 4 games, which sent a very big message to the world that the eagles are back where they belong, soaring high.
Against Zambia, it is a different challenge for Mr. Rohr and his men, with just a win away from securing qualification for the 2018 world cup, the super eagles are unbeaten in their last seven games against Zambia, recording four wins and three draws since an international friendly defeat in Lusaka in 1997, the super eagles have already beaten Zambia in their last meeting in the qualifiers in Ndola last year running out 2-1 winners. The Chipolopolo are coming with a 42 man contingent to Uyo, in a game that means a lot to them if they are to qualify for the showdown in Russia next year, starting with a victory against the super eagles on Saturday.
Mr. Rohr has invited a host of foreign based players to his squad with a surprise inclusion of out of favour Leicester city forward Ahmed Musa, it is very clear to see that the German tactician is all out to attack the Zambians in this game, speaking in his last presser, with the stability of the team being paramount on his mind when making his selection.
He stated “for your information, Ahmed is playing with the second team regularly and is playing very well, his influence in the team is good and positive, his world cup experience is needed and that is why he is with us and I am happy to have him with us”. He also spoke about the cohesion of the team putting emphasis on the defense “we have Balogun, we have Ekong, we have very good defenders now, we have Chidozie who plays for Nantes, a French division team, we need cohesion and continuation of such with the team” Arsenal man Alex Iwobi was not left out with, with the gaffer stating that he is fit and ready. “Alex is back now and well over his injury, what I did was to bring in one offensive player which means we want to win this game without taking any risk” he said. “So there was no reason to change. We stuck with these same players because we have seen what they can do”
With the words of Mr. Rohr it is very clear to see what we expect from his side on Saturday, a fearless and united team ready to grab the win and secure qualification in front of her home fans, it promises to be a spectacle and a fantastic game with great atmosphere.