By Albert Akota with agency report
The Super Eagles of Nigeria return to Africa Cup of Nation for the first time in six years, having failed to qualify for the two previous editions, and they will be going for the glory during the tournament.
The three-time African Champions qualified for this year’s tournament with a game to play, having earned 10 points from possible 15 points.
Despite sealing their qualification already, Gernot Rohr’s men are set to tackle Seychelles later this month in a dead rubber game which could be used by the gaffer to test new players and different formations.
Rohr handed debut invitations to two players Paul Onuachu and Valentine Ozornwafor as he wants to see if they can add more quality to the team; hence, his eyes will be on both players during the encounter.
Knowing well that this is their best chance to lay claim for a place in Rohr’s squad to the tournament, Onuachu and Ozornwafor will put all they’ve got into the game to impress the manager and his backroom staff.
Below are the top five Super Eagles players to watch out for during the dead rubber game against Seychelles:
Paul Onuachu has been in fine form with his Danish side FC Midtjylland; he has scored 14 goals from 21 League matches.
He will be hoping to maintain such form against the African minnows.
Valentine Ozornwafor , the 19-year-old defender currently plays for Enyimba FC. However, he was invited to camp based on his inspirational performances with the Flying Eagles throughout the just-concluded U20 AFCON tournament in Niger Republic.
Ozornwafor will be up against Kenneth Omeruo, Troost Ekong, Leon Balogun, and Chidozie Awaziem in the fight a place at the heart of defense.
Alex Iwobi, the Arsenal man is expected to retain his place at the attacking midfield position due to Mikel’s absence.
Iwobi has been phenomenal for the Eagles under Rohr’s tutelage, and much will be expected from him against Seychelles.
Odion Ighalo, despite his inability to return to Europe during the winter transfer market, the national team handlers still have huge trust in his goalscoring potential.
He is Nigeria’s top scorer at the ongoing qualifying campaign which means his teammates and the manager will rely solely on him for goals.
Wilfred Ndidi, the Leicester City’s midfielder is definitely one of the best tacklers of the ball in Africa and he’s expected to produce a strong shield for his defenders.
Ndidi is expected to return to the starting XI, having missed their 1-1 draw against South Africa in October last year due to suspension.