AHEAD of Friday’s African Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has predicted a tough match against the Leone Stars.
Speaking with journalists shortly after training with the national team yesterday in Benin, Rohr who commended the pitch however predicted that the game will be interesting because the Sierra Leoneans have a good team.
He said that the Super Eagles will go into the match immediately with strength and try to win as it is not a friendly game but a competition.
He said: “My expectations are to make a good match as always. The result is important. It is not a friendly but competition. We want to win. We are home but it will be difficult.
“Remember that the match against Seychelles in Asaba was difficult with a little score. Again, it will be a difficult march. We need to go into the match immediately with strength and try to win.”
So far 16 players which included skipper Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Leon Balogun, Oghenekaro Etebo, William-Troost Ekong, Kelvin Akpoguma, Chigoziem Awaziem, Ola Aina and Joseph Aribo are already in Benin.
Others are Moses Simon, Maduka Okoye, Emmanuel Dennis, Sebastian Osigwe, Zaidu Sanusi, Tyronne Ebuehi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa while number one goalie, Daniel Akpeyi, Shehu Abdullahi, Kenneth Omeruo, and Samuel Chukwueze were still being expected
Skipper Ahmed Musa said that the team which comprised of experienced and young players was ready and waiting for the match.
He said: “The coach has to give everybody the opportunity to play. With the quality of players that we have, we are ready.”
Speaking in the same vein, Ekong emphasized that the Super Eagles were hungry and have been waiting for the game for a long time, saying that the players were determined to play at the tournament.
Rohr added: “There are not many airlines flying to Nigeria at the moment, so a lot of our players have to fly through Ethiopia to Lagos and it is not easy.”