The Super Eagles training camp in Uyo is sparkling with stars ahead of Saturday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Zambia as skipper John Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and 14 other players have already reported.
They are joined by Leon Balogun, Ahmed Musa, John Ogu, Elderson Echiejile, Odion Ighalo, William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi, Mikel Agu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Anthony Nwakaeme, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and two standby players, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Afeez Aremu both of Akwa United.
Training began Tuesday night – without Ighao and Alex Iwobi – who hadn’t settled down – while the other invited players are expected to join today.
Officials say the training sessions will be open to the public sans Wednesday and Thursday when key tactical options will be tried.
Meanwhile, Zambia football legend, Kalusha Bwalya has talked up his country’s chances of beating Nigeria in Saturday’s match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Bwalya who was captain when Zambia lost 2-1 to Nigeria in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations Final in Tunisia, hailed the progress of the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets), saying it won’t be about pedigree on the night, Vanguard writes.
“The game on Saturday will be a high pressure game and I feel with Nigeria playing at home they will be more under pressure which could work to Zambia’s advantage,” Bwalya said.
“I have always had great respect for the Super Eagles and its array of world-class players but if there is a team that can beat Nigeria in Nigeria, it’s Zambia.”
The 1988 African footballer of the year described the encounter as the most important game in the qualifiers for Wedson Nyirenda’s boys.
“It is important to acknowledge the value of the Nigeria encounter and that it’s the most important game Zambia will play in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.
“The current squad has players who can score at any given opportunity and the boys are in good form coming into this match.”