The Super Eagles will need all their top quality players available for them to beat South Africa next month in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, footballllive.ng has gathered.
This is the verdict of Eagles’ technical adviser, Genot Rohr, who recounted that his side lost at home to the South Africans last year because some of his key players were missing from the game in Uyo.
Heading into the reverse fixture on November 17 at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, Rohr admitted that his desire is to get payback against Bafana Bafana, but admits it would only be cachieved if all his top players are available for the match.
Ironically, the Nigerian team has been hit by a spate of injuries to a handful of players, which might be the focal point of fresh worries for Rohr, who is also wary of the opponents’ counter-attacks and grit.
Eagles’ captain John Mikel Obi, versatile central defender, Leon Aderemi Balogun, back-to-form top striker, Odion Jude Ighalo and retired winger, Victor Moses were not present for the first leg in June last year.
Though Rohr pointed out that the match is now long ago, footballllive.ng can report that Moses has now retired from the Eagles, while Mikel has missed the team’s last two matches on account of recovery issues and key midfielder, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi is out of the next game due to accumulated yellow cards.
Four of Rohr’s players – Joel Chukwuma Obi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Henry Onyekuru and Shehu Abdullahi are still battling with injuries, while recent worries spread over William Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo, thereby keeping Nigerians apprehensive of fitness issues against Bafana.
However, the Eagles will qualify for AFCON 2019 in Cameroon if they beat Bafana Bafana, and Rohr says he is happy that all his key players will be avaiable for the match.
Rohr recounted: ”They beat us with strong counter attacks in Uyo. We dominated the game and actually played quite well in first half, but didn’t score.
”It was in June 2017, which is now quite a long time ago. I remember we had many players absent at the time, with that match taking place in the break between the seasons.
“The defeat still hurts and we want to take revenge for it. I’m happy that everyone will be available this time around and that our team can get revenge for that defeat.”