Nigeria Vs Benin: What is the Super Eagles Fate on Wednesday against the Squirrels ?
The Nigeria Super Eagles are set to kick-off their Africa Cup Of Nations qualifiers on a high, as they set to take on Benin, but the West African neighbors are aiming for a shock result.
Rohr’s squad are set to host West African neighbors Benin seeking to start the competition with a win at the Godswill Akpabio stadium, Uyo on Wednesday.
Both sides were drawn in group L alongside Lesotho and Sierra Leone, with Sierra Leone set to host Lesotho in Freetown on Wednesday evening, the Super Eagles as well as the Squirrels will be out to start on a high, so what could be the fate of both sides after the 90 minutes of the game?.
For the Three times AFCON champions, just when they seemed to be getting a bit of stability in goal, as Francis Uzoho started showing just why Gernot Rohr rates him highly, an unfortunate injury struck against Brazil match lately this year. The Omonia Nicosia goalkeeper sustained ligament injury in his knee, sending him out of action for at least six months and surely out of Wednesday’s game against Benin.
This absence of Uzoho in the goalpost paves way for the trio, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye, who made his debut against the Selecao in October, the uncertainty that surrounds the more experienced pair is worrying. They have never be consistent and trusted in goal, with the Super Eagles head coach opting for them largely after being on the receiving end of so much pressure over Uzoho’s performances. Akpeyi’s impressive stats recently for his club Kaizer Chiefs got him into the Rohr’s squad at the AFCON in Egypt but was later dropped for friendlies against Ukraine and Brazil, following Uzoho’s return.
Michel Dussuyer’s side will seek to take advantage of any whiff of uncertainty in the Nigeria goal.
Meanwhile, talking about the Super Eagles defence, the Udinese starlet William Troost-Ekong present, will give in his best to protect anyone Rohr chooses for between the sticks, the German coach have picked the Laganes starlets Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem and also West Bromwich Albion’s man Semi Ajayi to Assist the skipper at the heart of the defence.
The Torino wonderkid Ola Aina is likely to play at the Right-back, for the Super Eagles, while Jamilu Collins is expected to feature on the Left-back.
Benin will find it difficult to break down the Super Eagles defence who rarely concede at their home soil.
In the Midfield, will find In-form Leicester City hitman Wilfred Ndidi and thriving Joe Aribo. The later currently plays for the Scottish team Rangers, and have scored a goal apiece in his first two international duties against Ukraine and Brazil.
On the attack is likely to feature the In-form Lille frontman Victor Osimhen, who has netted seven times in his Ligue 1 appearance. He will be assisted by Samuel Chukwueze and one of either Ahmed Musa, Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon, which depends on Rohr’s choice, the trio possess the skill, directness and goal scoring threat to worry the squirrels.
Meanwhile, the Squirrel’s Stephen Sessegnon is the biggest threat to the Super Eagles, a fact underlined by his 23 goals in 80 international appearances, the highest return in the national team’s history. Also the likes of Mickael Pote and Steve Mounie are capable of hurting the Rohr’s squad, the former scored not less than four times at African Cup Of Nwtions, while the Huddersfield Town frontman is Dussuyer’s top striker.
However, the Benin squad are winless against Nigeria in their last 12 meetings, with the Three times AFCON champions winning 10.
The question now is, Will the Squirrels finally get one over the Super Eagles on Wednesday?