The Super Eagles of Nigeria will today face the Desert Warriors of Algeria in the last Group B match of the qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. As well documented, the Eagles had already book their ticket to the showpiece via the slim win over the Chipolopolo of Zambia at Uyo Stadium in September.
Nigeria had outplayed the Algerians in the first leg by comprehensively defeating the Warriors by three goals to one. The presence of reigning African Footballer of the year, Riyad Mahrez and rated hotshot, Slimani notwithstanding.
Super Eagles led by Mikel Obi and Victor Moses took the game to the Desert Warriors in Uyo to register their second consecutive win in the group after taking the maximum three points away in Zambia.
The speed, change in wing play and quick thinking of Nigeria totally confused the Algerians. It is therefore expected that Gernot Rohr will adopt similar strategy to counter whatever the Algerians may throw at the Eagles at home.
In the build up to this match, Algerian legend and former captain of the Desert Warriors who is the newly appointed coach, Rabah Madjer threw a couple of shades at the Super Eagles claiming that they are a ‘bunch of bench warmers’.
Tagged a ‘dead rubber game’ the Eagles have nothing to lose except pride and bragging rights as aim had already been met.
Without the added pressure of seeking a win or at least a point, the Eagles should ordinarily be empowered to play without any handbrakes.
And when the Super Eagles are in full flight, they are certainly a delight to watch. Madjer and his Warriors may find out this to their chagrin.
Super Eagles starting 11:
Encounters between the sides have largely been even but the Eagles have been on top in recent times. There is no argument tenable, for now; that Nigeria is far ahead of Algeria. At least in football!
Algeria 1 – 1 Nigeria