2019 Afcon: Time for Super Eagles to fly again

2019 Afcon: Time for Super Eagles to fly again
June 15
12:19 2019

After landing an “easy” pool for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Nigeria’s passage to the tournament’s second round is almost certain.

Alongside the Super Eagles in group B are Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar — who rank at least 25 places behind Nigeria on the latest Fifa rankings.

Head coach, Gernot Rohr, knows his players have to be at their optimum performance if they are to win the title, which they last won in 2013.

The team will undoubtedly look to former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, to orchestrate things in the middle of the park.

Now a free agent, his experience will be vital in what is still quite a young team, while the manager will definitely look to him to guide the youngsters.

Odion Ighalo will be vital to the team as the main goalscorer, but his strike partner Ahmed Musa may prove even more crucial to the Eagles.

Ighalo’s ability to create space and distract defenders may be the key in allowing Musa to score the goals he is known for.

It will be intriguing to see if the Rohr sticks to the 4-3-3 formation that got his team through qualifying, particularly when facing counter-attacking teams such as Burundi and Madagascar.

A star could be born in the shape of Samuel Kalu; the winger showed his strength and pace in attack throughout the qualification series, which complemented Alex Iwobi.

The Bordeaux player will hope to continue his good run in the first-team at Afcon.

Kalu is in the mode of the modern attacker who has a turn of speed, skills and mobility.

But if they do emerge from their group, the Super Eagles will feel they have a genuine chance of being the foremost formidable African team to beat in Egypt.

It is time for the Super Eagles to soar high again.

Seven players to watch: John Obi Mikel, Samuel Chukwueze, Samuel Kalu, Wilfred Ndidi, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa


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