Nigeria national football team players pose prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, southern Nigeria, on September 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Eagles regroup in Morocco
Following the spate of injury induced withdrawals from Nigeria’s team to the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier and the international friendly game against Argentina, Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr, is thinking of inviting new players to fill the void created by the absentees.
As at last count, Odion Ighalo, Simon Moses, Victor Moses and Ogenyi Onazi were said to be unavailable for the matches due to various degrees of injury.
Among the players expected to fill the void are the three initially placed on standby by Rohr, including Kenneth Omeruo and Alhassan Ibrahim, as well as Girona striker, Olanrewaju Kayode.
According to a source at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Rohr will assess the situation today to ascertain ‘who is coming and who is out injured’ before deciding whether to call up new players or not.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, said, “There is no need to panic because the team is covered in all the departments. But the coach wants a full squad to give him the opportunity of seeing all his options in the two matches.
“Ighalo and Victor Moses are the ones we are certain that will miss the matches. We hope the injuries to Simon and Onazi are not too severe, but whatever happens there are some other players ready to step in for them.”
The Super Eagles players are expected to assemble in Morocco, where they will train until Thursday when they will fly to Constantine, Algeria.
The team will leave Constantine aboard a chartered flight on Saturday after the World Cup qualifier against Algeria for Krasnodar, the Russian city slated to host Nigeria’s international friendly against Argentina on November 14.
Meanwhile, 15 Argentina players are expected to arrive in Moscow ahead of their friendly match against Russia, the Argentina Football Association (AFA) has revealed.
The 15 players include Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Romero, Sergio Aguero, Nicolás Otamendi and Angel Di María.
The Argentina training camp in the Spartak complex begins tomorrow ahead of their game with Russia on Thursday.
Emiliano Insúa and Ever Banega arrived in Moscow yesterday, while Nahuel Guzmán, Darío Benedetto, Cristian Pavón, Enzo Pérez and Fernando Belluschi are expected tomorrow.
The Argentines will travel to Krasnodar to meet Nigeria after their game against Russia.