With the Super Eagles set to face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a two-legged 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Friday, and in Freetown on Tuesday, Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU presents five key questions on the Gernot Rohr’s team ahead of the clashes…
1. Can Okoye Maintain Position As Eagles’ First Choice Goalie?
Sparta Rotterdam of Holland goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was offered the chance to stake claim for the Super Eagles’ number one position in the team’s last two outings against African champions Algeria and Carthage Eagles of Tunisia – both international friendlies.
The 21-year-old though conceded twice in the two games, proved he man the posts in top international matches. He made a number impressive saves especially in the game against Algeria.
Now with the more experienced Daniel Akpeyi back in the fold, it remains to be seen if head coach Gernot Rohr will stick with Okoye or go with Akpeyi against Sierra Leone.
2. Who Gets The Nod At Right-Back Between Ebuehi and Akpoguma?
Tyronne Ebuehi and Kevin Akpoguma will continue their fight for the right-back position in this double-header against the Leone Stars.
Ebuehi started Super Eagles first friendly against Algeria last month and was one of the team’s impresaive performers on the day before he was replaced by Akpoguma in the second half.
Akpoguma, who can also play as a centre-back then put up a fine performance in the second friendly against Tunisia.
Both players have also played regularly for their respective clubs this season with Ebuehi been named in the Eredivisie team of the month for October.
Rohr, no doubt, has a big call to make on who starts at right-back on Friday and the reverse fixture next week Tuesday.
3. How Will The Super Eagles Fare In Their New Home Ground?
The Super Eagles in recent years have played their home games at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo and Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba. It seems the newly refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City has now been added to the list.
Head coach Gernot Rohr has complained bitterly about the poor state of Asaba pitch in the past and it remains to be seen if the new Benin City home will get a pass mark from him.
4. Can Ejuke, Dennis Grab Their Chance In The Absence of Kalu And Simon?
With regular wingers Samuel Kalu and Moses Simon not available for this game due to injuries, the duo of Chidera Ejuke and Emmanuel Dennis have the chance to force their way into the Super Eagles.
Ejuke was particularly impressive after coming on as a substitute in the team’s last outing against Tunisia and will fancy a starting berth this time around.
Dennis is back in the squad after his last appearance in the friendly against Brazil last year. He will do well to replicate his club form at the international level.
5. Will Onuachu Get Another Chance To Impress Rohr?
Despite his impressive club form, lanky forward Paul Onuachu has failed to impress many in the colours of the Super Eagles. He struggled against Algeria last month and was left on the bench for the second game versus Tunisia.
The Genk of Belgium striker was not initially named in the squad for this game. He only came in as a replacement for the injured Moses Simon.
He has a tough battle on his hands with Victor Osimhen available for the game and Kelechi Iheanacho also in fine form at club level.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.