By David Meshioye and Adeboye Amosu in Kigali:
Sunshine Stars defender, Stephen Eze, is ready to step in for the suspended vice-captain of the Home Eagles, Austin Obaroakpo, in Monday's African Nations Championship Group C fixture against Niger, reports Completesportsnigeria.com. com.
Obaroakpo will miss the game at the Kigali Regional Stadium after accumulating two yellow cards in the qualifiers against Burkina Faso.
In his absence, the towering Eze is expected to pair Jamiu Alimi at the heart of the Eagles' defence.
Eze told Completesportsnigeria.com that he is confident of standing in for the Abia Warriors centre-back.
"I'm ready to play against Niger. As a player, you prepare yourself all the time even when you are not playing regulsrly because the coach can call on you at any moment," he told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Austin is an important player for us and we hope to have him back in the next game against Tunisia.
"We will do everything we can to make sure we win the game for him."