Super Eagles captain Mikel John Obi has assured that the Super Eagles will do everything possible to secure all three points from their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria on Saturday in UFO, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The 29–year old Chelsea midfielder said all the players appreciate the importance of this particular game for Nigeria’s quest to a sixth FIFA World Cup finals.
“We all know what this match means, why we have to give everything. Yes, we started the race well by winning in Zambia, but we have to approach this match even more seriously. The Algerians will come with determination and they will play hard, but we will play harder," Mikel told thenff.com.
“The World Cup is the biggest stage; every player wants to be there. I am happy we have such a young and energetic team. I played at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, but there are many of these players who have never been to the World Cup. They want to be there.”
Mikel reiterated that the team is looking forward to nothing less than victory against the Algerians.
“Three points; that is what we will be playing for. We are committed and the visit of the Vice President (Professor Yemi Osinbajo) to our training in Abuja has motivated us even more.”
Nigeria represented Africa at the 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, reaching the Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014.
Both Nigeria and Algeria were the only African teams that got to the secound round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Nigeria losing 2-0 to France while Algeria lost 2-1 to eventual champions Germany, 2-1 after extra-time.
Nigeria beat Algeria to win her first Africa Cup of Nations in 1980. Ten years later, Algeria beat Nigeria to win her first Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria beat Nigeria to qualify for her first FIFA World Cup – Spain 1982; while Nigeria held Algeria to a 1-1 draw in Algiers to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in USA.
The Super Eagles have never lost a World Cup qualifying home match outside of Lagos. And they have lost only one out of six World Cup qualifying matches played in the month of November, winning the remaining five.
Meanwhile, the Algerians arrive Uyo on Thursday evening with a delegation of 61 persons, aboard a chattered flight, and will have the official training on the pitch of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday evening.
The match officials, led by Hassan Osama Atta Ibrahim El Manan (match commissioner from Sudan) will arrive Uyo on Friday.
The referee is Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama, with Jean-Claude Birumushahu (Burundi) as assistant referee 1; Marwa Range (Kenya) as assistant referee 2 and; Maudo Jallow (Gambia) as fourth official. Jean-Olivier Mbera from Gabon will serve as referee assessor and Kenyan Nicholas Chumba Musonye will be security officer.
The match kicks off at 5pm on Saturday.