Kelechi Iheanacho (14) and Alex Iwobi (18) celebrate a goal in the qualifier against Zambia
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will open their training camp in preparation for a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Abuja on Monday, November 7. Officials informed that the Eagles will train till Thursday before they fly out to Uyo, where the match will be played on Saturday, November 12. Kick-off time at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is 5pm local time. The match venue hosted last month’s final 2017 AFCON qualifier against Tanzania.
Nigeria are top of the qualifying group after a 2-1 win at Zambia earlier this month, while Algeria played out a 1-1 draw at home with Cameroon. Only the overall winners from this group will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Meanwhile, midfielder John Ogu and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu have both been handed recalls to the Super Eagles ahead of the match.
Both players have been out of the team for a while, with Ogu’s last involvement being in a 2-0 defeat of Chad in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last year June, while Alampasu has not be called since the preliminary round World Cup qualifier against Swaziland late last year.
The invitations might come as a surprise though, seeing as Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr appeared to rule out Ogu from his plans just ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Zambia earlier this month. However, the 28-year old has been one of Nigeria’s finest players in Europe over the last year, and won the Israeli championship with Hapoel Be’er Sheva, as well as being voted the best foreign player in that country.
For Alampasu, he left Feirense – who had been promoted to the Portuguese top tier – on loan in the summer for a search of regular first team football, and it has proved an inspired move as he has played every game since joining Cesarense in the Portuguese second-tier league. The game against Algeria comes up next month in Uyo, with the full list expected to be made public soon..
In a related development, Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa has said Algeria’s choice of former manager, Georges Leekens will count for nothing in the World Cup qualifying clash. The Belgian was handed a second spell at the North African side on Thursday to replace the ousted Serbia’s Milovan Rajevan.
Ezenwa said the present crop of Eagles want to pick the World Cup ticket with a game to spare in the qualifying campaign.
“Georges Leekens’ appointment as Algerian coach does not scare us and will count for nothing when both sides square up for the matchday 2 clash in Uyo on November 12.
“The body language and spirit among the players speak volume of side who want to pick the world Cup ticket before the last match.
“The mind-set of the players is to head off to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia so nobody will be considered too tough an obstacle to scuttle the lofty dream.
“Majority of the present Eagles has not been to the mainstream World Cup and they want to be there to have a true feel of what it looks like.
“I may have participated in the Fifa U20 World Cup for me and others that’s a youth championship we want to experience the real World Cup.
“Our minds are focused on beating the Algerians irrespective of who calls the shot as head coach,” said the FC IfeanyiUbah shot stopper to supersport.com.