In October, less than two weeks from now, Nigeria will host a Match Day 3 encounter with Libya in a Group E qualifying match for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). The venue for the match will be the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna City. And only three days after that, the Nigerians are going to Libya to play them again in a Match Day 4 game.
Coach Gernot Rohr is happy with how his side are progressing after the Match Day 1 loss to South Africa. The Super Eagles are currently sitting in third place in the group, one point behind Libya and South Africa, and they have it all in their hands. When the time comes to name the squad for this match, the coach might choose to make a few changes to try and improve the team’s performance.
One of the players who will be a doubt is Shehu Abdullahi, a 25-year old defender currently playing in the Turkish League. He has been struggling with injury and is looking to get back to full fitness. He featured in the World Cup this year in Russia, was in the starting line-up for the opening match but then moved to the bench because the Eagles played in another formation in the second match. Abdullahi hopes he will play the whole game in the league this weekend before coach Rohr announces his provisional squad for the Libya match next week.
Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo, the 26-year old Nigerian striker currently playing in Serie B in Italy for Crotone, hopes to continue his international career for Nigeria against Libya, especially after scoring his first goal for the Super Eagles in the friendly against Liberia recently. He played against Croatia and Argentina in the World Cup, and if he is selected by coach Rohr this time, it will be his sixth cap for Nigeria. In his latest interview, he said that he was happy to open his account for his nation and that he thought the game against the Libyans will be a closely fought match.
Libyan coach Adel Amrouche has singled out Ahmed Musa as the biggest threat from the Super Eagles. Musa, who is now playing in Saudi Arabia after he left Leicester City, has got skill and speed and has been one of Nigeria’s best players in the World Cup and otherwise. Coach Amrouche will try to double up on him to try and stop his influence on the game, hoping to get something out of the game in Nigeria before going to Tunisia for their second out of the two back to back games.