Much vilified midfield duo Ogenyi Onazi and Joel Obi might have lost their starting status in the national team following their uninspiring display in the team’s friendly loss to England on Saturday.
Both players were subject of criticisms and hard knocks from Nigerian football fans in the wake of Saturday’s defeat and have now been yanked off the team’s starting lineup for Wednesday’s friendly against Czech Republic in Austria.
Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi will make his long awaited return from a hamstring injury and will start in midfield alongside Israel-based John Ogu and captain Mikel John Obi as the Eagles try out a new tactical formation.
Teenage goalkeeper Francis Uzoho will continue in goal for Nigeria in what is poised to be a sign that the RC Deportivo goalkeeper will start in goal against Croatia in Nigeria’s opening World Cup game on June 16. Rohr has also stuck with his regular back four, meaning that Abdullahi Shehu is preferred to Tyronne Ebuehi.
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Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face the Europeans at the Rudolf-Tonn-Stadion in Rannersdorf in what will be their final warm-up game before they travel to Russia next week. The match will kick at 3’o clock in the afternoon in Austria (2pm in Nigeria).
Nigerian Ambassador to Austria currently speaking to the @NGSuperEagles team. Just a courtesy visit and to wish them good luck in Russia "on behalf of the President of Nigeria" she says. pic.twitter.com/9bxD8eb2di
— ACLSports (@acl_sports) June 5, 2018
In the meantime, players and staff of the Super Eagles on Tuesday evening played host to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Austria at their Avita Resort Camp Base in Bad Tarzmannsdorf.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Austria Mrs Vivian Okeke welcomed the Eagles to Austria and encouraged them to do the country proud in Russia while assuring that members of the Nigerian community in Austria will be at the Stadium to cheer the team on Wednesday against Czech.
Nigeria XI vs Czech Republic:
Uzoho; Shehu, Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; Ndidi, Ogu, Mikel; Iwobi; Moses, Ighalo.