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8 Super Eagles Who Will Lead Zambia’s Copper Bullets Extinction In Uyo

8 Super Eagles Who Will Lead Zambia’s Copper Bullets Extinction In UyoOdion Ighalo

The Super Eagles are on the cusp of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A win against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 7 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium Uyo will confirm Nigeria’s appearance at next summer’s World Cup, but any other result will prolong the two horse race to the last matchday-6 of Group B in November.

Completesportsnigeria.com’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI in this piece looks at the Super Eagles players who can hurt the Zambians in Uyo.

ODION IGHALO: Striker – Changchun Yatai, China

Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo was key in the Nigeria’s home and away World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in September which the Eagles won 4-0 and drew 1-1 respectively. He scored one of Nigeria’s goals in the four-goal rout in Uyo on September 1.

Ighalo has so far scored 12 goals (34% of the club’s total of 35 goals in 23 league appearances at press time) for his Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai with 2,053 minutes of playing time to his credit.

Ighalo’s form will continuously be a source of concern for players and the coaches of the Zambian national side.

The striker will be hard pressed to get more international goals for Nigeria after four goals to his name in 12 international games.

The striker can also assist as he can score in equal measure and has got three assists this season meaning his partnership with the other attacking players will cause all sorts of problems to the Chipolopolo defence. He also likes to dart to the wings which will keep the Zambian defenders busy all through the game.

Dribbling is one of Ighalo’s biggest assets and his shots per goal have been encouraging. He will surely be massive against Zambia, he only needs to avoid holding on to the ball for too long.

Victor Moses

VICTOR MOSES: Wing-Back: Chelsea, England

Chelsea right wing-back Victor Moses has been Nigeria’s most influential player in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign

Moses scored a brace against Algeria in their first leg clash in November 2016 and repeated the feat against African champions Cameroon in Uyo on September 1, 2017.

Given how he breaks at pace and gets into good positions, it will not be hard to fathom the Nigerian being a thorn in Zambia’s flesh on October 7.

Perhaps the question is: how many goals will he score?

oghenekaro-etebo-super-eagles

Oghenekaro Etebo

OGHENEKARO ETEBO: Midfielder – Fereinse, Portugal

Much of the attention in the Nigerian midfield would naturally be on captain John Mikel Obi, but the league form of Fereinse of Portugal midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo could count for something in the clash against the Zambians.

The player has scored three goals in six top flight matches in Portugal this season.

The former Warri Wolves player has played eight international matches for Nigeria. He was not involved in Nigeria’s game against Cameroon at home, but only came off the bench in the reverse fixture in Yaounde.

That is already a reason to prove to Gernot Rhor that he deserves to play more for the Super Eagles. Etebo is a midfielder good at driving forward with the ball and hitting the ball hard. His impact will be felt the more if handed more playing time than he got against the African champions.

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Leon Balogun

LEON BALOGUN: Defender -Mainz, Germany

Centre back Leon Balogun has played three games so far for his German Bundesliga side FSV Mainz, and thankfully, was not injured in their 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich on September 16 after some time on the sidelines receiving treatment for a foul.

Balogun’s energy and probing runs deep from the Nigerian end of the pitch against Cameroon was exciting to see and he could be a genuine threat to the Copper Bullets, especially from dead ball situations.

The towering defender brings out the best in former U-23 star William Troost Ekong. His defensive astuteness will hopefully not desert him when it matters most on October 7.

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Ahmed Musa

AHMED MUSA: Forward – Leicester City, England)

Somewhat forgotten as his club form for Leicester City have dipped, Eagles forward Ahmed Musa could be the trump card that coach Rhor deploys against Zambia especially in the second half.

The Zambian defenders will predictably focus on the likes of Victor Moses who by the way is perhaps the most important player that the Eagles have had in the 2018 World Cup qualification. No doubt.

That is exactly where an Emmanuel Amuneke-esque player hitherto unheralded or deprived of ample playing time will rise and punish the Zambians. Remember the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations final against Zambia in Tunisia?

Musa may be the ex factor in the game and thereby resurrect his fast fading impact in the Super Eagles with a splendid show in two weeks’ time.

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John Mikel Obi

JOHN MIKEL OBI: Midfielder – Tianjin TEDA, China

The captain of Nigeria. John Mikel obi needs no introduction and what he brings to the Super Eagles is magic.

Mikel Obi was solely missed in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa but his presence
positive vibes to the team versus the Indomitable Lions.

The skipper’s availability alone for the match will be bad news to the Zambians. Mikel will bring the leadership and charisma that the opponents will revere.

Every team goes to war with their best warriors, Mikel’s passes and ball retention will be key factors that could shoot down the Chipolopolo backline. Mikel scores the odd goals and his contributions will be massive.

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Alex Iwobi

ALEX IWOBI: Midfielder – Arsenal, England

Arsenal attacking midfielder cum forward Alex Iwobi scored his first international goal for Nigeria in the reverse fixture against Zambia in Ndola in the 2-1 win on 9 October 2016.

Iwobi brings creativity and also exuberance to the national team just as he does whenever he is given the opportunity at Arsenal.

Iwobi was not involved in the Cameroon double headers due to injury but is expected to be back for the match in Uyo on October 7.

It will be an uphill struggle for the Zambians to pin the skilfully Iwobi down to a position as he is used to drifting wide every now and then. Iwobi’s contributions are expected to focal in an anticipated victory for the Super Eagles.

Hopefully another October date against the Zambians will be a good outing for Iwobi and the Eagles.

kelechi-iheanacho-super-eagles

Kelechi Iheanacho

KELECHI IHEANACHO: Forward – Leicester City, England

Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho has had a decent record for the Nigerian national team so far since his debut on 13 November 2015 in a second round, first leg fixture of the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Swaziland which ended 0-0.

Iheanacho has gone on to score seven goals for the Super Eagles in 12 appearances and the former youth international who only played 39 minutes in total against Cameroon (29 at home, and 10 away) may find himself getting into the starting lineup or at least more playing time against the Zambians.

Iheanacho’s powerful left foot packed with canon, and his ability to pop up at vintage positions to receive the final ball from teammates will be massive when Zambia come to town.

The former Manchester City forward was credited by the Premier League to having the best goals-to-minutes ratio of any player in the English Premier League as at December 2016 with 12 strikes in 96 minutes. That impressive CV could be playing out for him in the Nigerian set up and having more minutes against Zambians could help in enhancing that.

Iheanacho could simply hurt the Zambians with his goals appetite for club and country.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 17
  • Achi 1 year ago

    I’m counting the days, nay, minutes, to to this epic encounter, which will shatter these fragile Chipolopolo bullets to pieces, so we can rest our ears from their loud boasts.

    A stubborn fly that continues to buzz and keeps his master sleepless will surely be swatted into oblivion ha ha ha haaaa – that’s the natural law.

  • phillip 1 year ago

    Sports writer and their favoritism! Where did you leave Moses Simon and listed Ahmed Musa? Anyway they are all Nigerian eagles and are part of the great team of new era but the starting eleven will not included 3 or 4 of the players listed above. Up Eagles! Russia 2018 is secured!

  • Achi 1 year ago

    @ phillip
    That’s mathematics for you, boy. You select a few characters to represent the whole. It may look as if those mentioned here are more skilled than the others – NO! None of the players listed here may actually be involved in giving these noisy Chipolopolo Bullets the the Cameroon treatment, which is represented as an elegant equation: C + 4 = 5 goals.

    Remember: The strength of the wolf is in the pack, and the strength of the pack is in the wolf – Anonymous.

  • ako amadi 1 year ago

    I don’t envy Gernot Rohr. The guy has crucial choices to make. Should he change a winning team? Such is life that against Cameroon Ighalo, Simon and Onazi did so well that we didn’t miss regulars such as Iheanacho, Iwobi and Etebo. The fitness of players shortly before match day will be decisive. The Super Eagles bench is strong, and I see substitutions against Zambia at half-time. If you ask me, I think Etebo should start ahead of Onazi who hardly scores but stabilizes the connection between defence and the forward line

  • Tgrace 1 year ago

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! Here this Zambia you are dead already.
    On Moses’ part – Perhaps the question is: how many goals will he score?
    Mikel’s part – How many through pass will he gives?
    S. Moses’ part – How many assisst will he make?
    Ighalo’s part – How many fouls will be committed against him?
    Balogun’s part – How many Zambian pass will he stop and intercept.
    Enyeama’s parrt – How many saves will he make
    Nigeria team is a no go area for the Zambian team

  • Tgrace 1 year ago

    Prediction: Nigeria 4 v 0 Zambia
    Name: Abina Timothy Oreofe
    Number: 08065622221
    [email protected]

  • Elmore 1 year ago

    Nigeria prapare for your funeral because you will cry.

    • Tgrace 1 year ago

      @Elmore
      Nigeria should prapare for your funeral?.
      For your mind, who is thier in your team who reck havoc to the Nigeria team. You are funny bro. You need no long reply. Just seat back and prepare for Oct7

  • My brother that ticket is ours.go heaven come back.

  • CACIOUS MWILA 1 year ago

    be carefuL NIGERIANS, YOU WILL CRY OTHERWISE IF YOU’RE NOT VERY CAREFULY BECAUSE ZAMBIA NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM, THAT IS NOT A TEAM YOU SHULD JUST UNDERET LIKE ANY HOW/ COMENTED FROM ZAMBIA

    • Papafem 1 year ago

      Mr.Mwila, you are crying already. Your sob will be loud and full come Saturday.

  • CACIOUS MWILA 1 year ago

    PAPA FEM, DON’T WORRY YOU WILL SEE OUR TALENT’ BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK AT THE GAME THE WAY IT IS COMING,ZAMBIA ROUSED TO NIGERIA 2-1 AT OUR HOME GROUND AND THIS RETURN MATCH WE’RE COMING TO YOUR HOME GROUND.WE BELTED ALGERIA HOME AND WAY.NOW LOOK THE AWAY WE’RE COMING.DON’T LET THOSE EIGHTY PLAYERS YOU HAS TO GIVE HOPE THAT YOU WILL DO BETTER NO YOU’RE LYING.BECAUSE EVIN IF YOU CALL THAT EIGHTY DEPENDABLE PLAYERS YOU HAVE,WE FEAR NOTHING,BECAUSE AS ZAMBIAN WE STAND ON FEAR NOT BUT DEFT.MR PAPA FEM, EXPECT CHIPOLOPOLO BOYS TO FACE SUPER LIKE LIGHTENING.GOODDAY NIGERIAN SOCCER FAN’S COMENTED FROM ZAMBIA CENTRAL PROVINCE

  • CACIOUS MWILA 1 year ago

    [BOLA NA LESA] DON’T WORRY THAT’S OUR LOCAL LANGUAGE CALLED BEMBA

  • Dennis Uwem 1 year ago

    Haaaa, you Zambia fans, please don’t come to Nigeria empty pocket just come with a face towels cos you will cry home. There is free return tickets for all.
    Nig 3 .: Zambia 1.
    @Dennis uwem
    [email protected]
    08084824147

  • CACIOUS MWILA 1 year ago

    THAT IS NOT THE WAY YOU CAN THREATEN ZAMBIANS YOU NIGERIAN’S JUST WAIT YOU WILL CRY VERY WELL.AND YOU SHALL EVIN LUCK A PERSON TO WEEP YOUR TEARS.ZAMBIA 2 NIGERIA 1.BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT EVIN TO SCORE MANY GOES BUT ONLY 2 GOES.FROM ZAMBIA.

  • CACIOUS MWILA 1 year ago

    THAT IS NOT THE WAY YOU CAN THREATEN ZAMBIANS YOU NIGERIAN’S JUST WAIT YOU WILL CRY VERY WELL.AND YOU SHALL EVIN LUCK A PERSON TO WEEP YOUR TEARS.ZAMBIA 2 NIGERIA 1.BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT EVIN TO SCORE MANY GOES BUT ONLY 2 GOES.FROM ZAMBIA. 0961653045 [email protected]

  • phadah 1 year ago

    if it wea to b d eagles of 3yrs or 2yrs ago maybe u guys would av had a chance not these eagles! D rythem z just unstoppable n trust me,Zambia z just not the team to stop them.If for anything, Nigeria will win well,as for d crying part ,don’t worry Zambians,we will provide a stand wea dey will give u guys free towel n baff to cry in unison!! up Super Eagles!!!!! no one can stop a super eagle not even a copper bullet