The Super Eagles’ technical crew will give players, who have not had the opportunity to play for the country in the on-going Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series to feature in the last game against Algeria. That is, if the Eagles beat Zambia next month to confirm Nigeria’s qualification for the Copa du Mondo.
Zambia surprised bookmakers on Tuesday when they went to Algiers to beat Algeria in their matchday four game. That victory took Zambia seven points, three lower than Nigeria, who will host them in Uyo on October 7.
A win in that game guarantees Nigeria the ticket to Russia 2018 World Cup. The Guardian learnt that fringe players, including home-based stars and some based in Europe were originally billed to take on Zambia until the Chipolopolo took the decision out Coach Gernot Rohr’s hands in Algiers.
One of the officials, who pleaded anonymity, said in Yaoundé on Monday that the qualifiers also serves as preparation for the World Cup, adding that it has given the coaches the opportunity to assess the mentality of the players that have featured in the series.
“The coaches know what the players in the CHAN team can do, but they also want to see them in grade A games. “If as expected We beat Zambia to qualify for the World Cup, there will be no need to play against Algeria with the players in the main team,” he said.
Meanwhile, Algeria manager, Lucas Alcaraz has written off Zambia’s chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, insisting that they should channel their energy into qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
“Zambia has a balanced squad with a blend of youngsters but I don’t think they can make it for the World Cup in Russia,” reports Daily Mail Zambia.
“I know it was an interesting result in Cameroon, which gives hope to other teams, but still the momentum is with Nigeria.
“Zambian coach [Wedson Nyirenda] has a good team but I think he should concentrate on building a strong team with the focus on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
“I believe the Qatar target is attainable if they can maintain the same performance.”