By Kayode Ogundare:
Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has declared that the team is not afraid of the intimidating credentials of the Fennecs of Algeria ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Uyo on 12 November.
Ndidi has been included in the 24-man Nigeria squad for the key qualifier.
While speaking exclusively to Complete Sports from his Belgium base, the KRC Genk midfielder insists that Nigeria boast quality talents as much as the Algerians and that it will be down to attitude on the day when the game kicks off.
He said: "Much has been said about the fact that Algeria have Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani at Leicester City as well as Sofiane Feghouli in West Ham but Nigeria also have Alex Iwobi at Arsenal, Kelechi Iheanacho at Manchester City, Mikel Obi at Chelsea, Ahmed Musa at Leicester and Odion Ighalo at Watford. I think it is the Algerians who should have cause to be afraid of us, not the other way around."
Ndidi, who was saw 90 minutes action for his Belgian top-flight side in their 2-0 win over Westerlo on Saturday, also revealed that though little is known about the Fennecs he has played several times against their newly appointed manager Georges Leekens from the coach's time with Belgian Pro League side Lokeren.
"I knew the coach while he was at Lokeren. We beat his team 3-0 away in our game against them. Though I expect his Algerian team to be stronger than Lokeren were, I still think his formation and philosophy won't be different and I will be passing that on to the appropriate quarters," he said.
The former Flying Eagles defender also spoke about the return of Portugal-based Oghenekaro Etebo and Israel-based John Ogu to the national team, a development he describes as very heartwarming.
"I'm happy to see that Etebo as well as Ogu are coming back. Their qualities are undoubted and they will add to the depth of options available to the coaches. I've not been in camp with Ogu before but I was in the team that played Luxembourg with Etebo. He is very hardworking and funny. He livens up the camp with his jokes and I'm sure we'll have a nice time in camp," the former Nath Boys of Lagos player said.
Nigeria face old foes Algeria at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo on November 12. The Eagles lead the group with three points ahead of Algeria and Cameroon who are on one point each and Zambia who are pointless.