By Kayode Ogundare in Accra:
If Nigerians think next Saturday’s World Cup qualifying game against Zambia will be a stroll in the park, particularly given the fact that the Super Eagles won the reverse fixture last October in Ndola, then they are in for a shocker according to a member of the Chipolopolo squad currently in a training camp in Ghana ahead of the match.
Simon Silwimba, who’s seen his good form for domestic league club Zesco United rewarded with a spot on the national team, is confident that the Chipolopolo can shock Nigeria at home to claim the sole ticket from Group and make it to the World Cup in Russia.
Speaking exclusively to completesportsnigeria.com in Accra, the 22-year old said: “This is football and anything can happen. The fact that Nigeria are playing at home does not mean they will automatically win. If the visiting team is better than you on the day, you will be shocked before you know it and that’s what we are planning for your team.”
Silwimba, an unused substitute in the reverse fixture in Ndola last October when Nigeria won 2-1 with goals from Alexander Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho before Collins Mbesuma reduced the tally in the second half, claimed that the Chipolopolo had undergone such drastic changes that it will be unrealistic to judge the outcome of the fortcoming game by the result of the first match.
“We have improved and changed since the last time we played Nigeria and it will be impossible to predict the outcome of this game by looking at the first leg result. What Nigeria did to us in Ndola we also can do it to them in Uyo,” he said.
The player who’s grown in influence in the team and played both games against Algeria is expected to be in coach Wedson Nyirenda’s starting eleven when the Chipolopolo files out in Uyo on October 7th in what could effectively be the ticket decider.