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Eguavoen To Rejig Super Eagles Midfield For Ghana Rematch

Eguavoen To Rejig Super Eagles Midfield For Ghana Rematch

Super Eagles interim technical adviser Augustine Eguavoen is expected to ring changes in the team’s midfield for the second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs against the Black Stars of Ghana, reports Completesports.com.

The team’s midfield was overrun by the Black Stars in the first leg at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi last Friday

Eguavoen paraded the trio of Innocent Bonke, Joe Aribo and Kelechi Iheanacho in the game.

Read Also: Black Stars Arrive Abuja Today For Super Eagles Clash

Bonke was replaced by Watford’s Oghenekaro Etebo after picking up an injury, but is expected to be fit for the return leg after returning to training on Monday.

Etebo is expected to be named in the starting line-up, while Aribo could be pushed upfront to play behind Victor Osimhen.

Bonke or Frank Onyeka are in contention to fill the other midfield position.

The fixture is billed for the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday.

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  • Mahmud Shuaib 2 years ago

    This is no brainer….play a midfield trio of BONKE, ETEBO and ARIBO and Ghana will be trounced roundly

    • Onyeka instead of bonke

    • Mahmud Shuaib 2 years ago

      My bad…wanted to write FRANK ONYEKA who is more used to the team than BONKE instead of the latter, pls.

      My pick is ONYEKA ETEBO ARIBO

    • Glory 2 years ago

      @ Mahmud Shaibu, Bonke and anyone of Onyeka/Etebo. Those two Onyeka n Etebo are like for like; more attack minded. We must avoid being overambitious. A good team formation never ever underestimates team balance.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    These changes are long overdue if we are honest to ourselves.. Why must he wait till the last hour before he makes changes to the midfeild..

    Qualification was a smooth ride with rohn, we never had a need to press calculator , but if Ghana scores tomorrow we are in trouble..

    Iheanacho, aribo combo has not been effective but cerozo has continued to use same line up, Sam chuks has not played well too but has always started.. Truth be told cerozo is predicable, you can guess his starting line up with a high degree of accuracy.. Hope we win tomorrow

    • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

      I tell you my brother!

      QUALIFICATION was a smooth ride under GENERAL ROAR..

      But now under MR ONE PATTERN I had to be using my PHONE’S CALCULATOR..


      • Aiwekhoe Omoba 2 years ago

        Wa there anything like playoff under ROHR?
        We even lost to Small country like cape Verde in our home have u forgotten?
        Bros pray for Ur own… White mentality everywhere!!

        • 2018 wc qualifiers we had Cameroun , Zambia and Algeria. A tougher group.

          Rohr would have won against Ghana

        • Dr Banks 2 years ago

          Bro we never lost to Cape Verde, we beat them 2:1 away and drew 1:1 at home.

          We lost to CAR but that can largely be blamed on NFF, Rohr has told them from the onset when he went to inspect Teslim Balogun Stadium that he doesn’t like the pitch but NFF refused to listen to him, showing him that NFF call the shot here!!! Even Balogun raised it during an interview but still no action until CAF banned the stadium for international use after the Cape Verde match.

          Can’t you wonder why we beat all these teams in our group away but struggled at TBS home ground? So blame NFF totally for all that happened to Rohr during his final months with us

        • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

          You forgot that under GENERAL ROAR the SE became the FIRST AFRICAN COUNTRY to book a ticket for the 2018 WORLD CUP in RUSSIA after emerging WINNERS in a qualifying group that consisted of STRONG TEAMS like ZAMBIA, ALGERIA, and CAMEROON???

          But your EGUAVON how many big teams has he been tested with so far?


          Is it SUDAN?

          Is it GUINEA BISAU?


          HE only succeeded in beating EGYPT because SALLAH was deployed wrongly.. LMFAO!

          See Common GHANA that couldn’t stand COMOROS.. LMFAO! HE is now making over 200 Million NIGERIANS to be using CALCULATOR now… LMFAO….

          • John-I 2 years ago

            They also became one of the first countries to be eliminated.

          • Will you keep quite? Try to reread your write up before posting and ask yourself if you making sense common, saying we beat Egypt because sallah was deploy wrongly, trying so hard to ridicule and make eguavoen look ordinary won’t put food on your table dude,I expect you to discontinue commenting here if Nigeria qualify tomorrow ok. Shioooo

      • John-I 2 years ago

        A smooth ride losing against CAR in Lagos?

        • onwajunior 2 years ago

          You keep bringing up CAR loss. What was the end result? Didn’t we still qualify? I just hope we qualify with these set of coaches, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t. If the unthinkable happens tomorrow, time would heal our wounds, Pinnick and co would still remain, Eguavon might even remain as coach. We are Nigerians, we are used to it.

        • Ordinary Sierra Leone came from 4 goals down to equalize and nearly beat us at home. Against minnows, we struggled to get to this play off stage. The sacking of Rohr was a good one.

    • Rohr was more predictable and rigid. We should ask ourselves, did changes made not effective? the answer is yes at least nobody has said his changes were not effective in all the criticism

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago


    Let IGHALO and OSIMHE combine as STRIKE FORCE

    Play ARIBO as 8

    Let KELz come from the BENCH to sub one of them..

    We have had enough of CHUKWEZE! Let him rest his place let DENNIS take..

    I feel MOSES SIMON just need some talking and not necessarily dropping him on the BENCH..

  • I think Nigeria needs to line up like this next match.



    • Ugo. God bless you. I will only use zaidu instead of bassey..bassey is new. Can he go through the pressure playing in Nigeria for the first time.

      • Thank you bro @Christian Ministries Naija…. I just feel Bassey looked too formidable as I knew he would when, he came on against Ghana in the last 15 mins of the game in a even more hostile crowd as he was playing away.. In the home match if he has a good opening 10 mins which I believe he will our home crowd will begin to cheer him on which will put his pressure at ease and he will begin to flourish even more. Zaidu didn’t impress me in the last fixture he playe poor which I did not expect.

        • Golden Child 2 years ago

          Bassey played well but there were some tactical deficiencies with the technical crew. E.g. when Bassey bombed forward, it left some space at the back when he was dispossessed. This happened too many times for my liking. Onyeka should be instructed to take such positions when the need arises.

          Those calling for iheanacho’s inclusion should apply caution. Apart from the chance he created for moses Simon, It was a stinker from the senior man. In my opinion, we played 1 man short in Kumasi as kels did not show up.

          To beat the black stars, you need to take away their strength which is the midfield.Do that and they are a very docile team. If you observed, all their threat came from the middle with kudus muhammed . Their wide men had no threat wide, they also resorted to drifting to the middle to take shots as we saw with Fataawu Ishaaku. To kill a snake, take away its fangs and it becomes a pet.

          Over power them in the midfield and they are a docile team. Their attacking players stats reflect this.

          Cerezo should go for an industrious midfield. Etebo, Onyeka and Aribo should start tomorrow. Musa also starting is not bad because he can play through the middle and then drift to the right. Those 3 would offer the mobility and the pressing needed whilst providing ammunition to big Victor to terrorize their defence. I have not been impressed with Eguavoen’s technical prowess and I am afraid if he gets it wrong again, the ghanians will come on to us. All it takes is a goal and Ghana will switch to a compact formation and we will need to score 2 goals. To do that we would take more risk and throw more men forward which would leave room for their pacy forwards like afena gyan.

          Tomorrows game is not for ighalo either, he will slow down the game, we need to start on the front foot and take the game to them.our forward players need to press from the front and not give them time to settle. If sentiments prevail then there will be much wails after 90 mins.

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

    AMOO can’t be on the BENCH @Ugo Iwunze

    Let him start with the NO 10 ROLE..

  • If the coach will do that, it will be very sharp.
    Aribo behind Osimhen, with Onyeka and Etebo behind Aribo. That’s a good set up.
    Then again, Iheanacho should be deployed to the right wing as a makeshift winger. He will play as a false winger who can switch to support striker when we are in transition.
    We can bring in Dennis, Lookman, Amoo etc in the second half

    • Ocherome why use iheanacho as a einger when we have Dennis and lookman in the team.

      • Dennis and Lookman are still very new in that team. Believe you me, they have not fully settled in. They can’t give their best at this point. Because they are still trying to find their feet. And moreover, this is a very important and decisive match, the pressure could be too much for them to handle. We need our most experienced players. Players that have played to the highest level for us.
        By second half, Dennis and co could be introduced

    • Golden Child 2 years ago

      Putting Iheanacho on the wings is tantamount to sucide, we can kiss the world cup good bye. The amount of work a winger does and the ground he has to cover is a lot. He has to help with defense and the be ready to spring into attack. No coach will deploy him as such, in fact, no coach has deployed him as such. The Ghanians will just camp at Aina’s position.

      The Lineup should be :


      Aina Ekong Balogun Zaidu

      Etebo Onyeka

      Dennis Aribo Simon



      • There is nothing suicidal about it. Rather, I think that is our best bet.
        With Iheanacho on the wings, all he has to do is simple. When in possession on the wings, he will either give the ball to Aribo and move into the striker’s position, or he could cross the ball into the box just as a winger will do.
        When we are not in possession, he will track back to assist Aina to defend from the right flank. There is nothing special there. Iheanacho can do that job. In fact, I really believe that is the way to go.
        The reasons why we have to find a way to accommodate Iheanacho in the team is many fold. But I highlight a few. Apart from being a very lethal finisher, Iheanacho is one of the most experienced players in SE right now. This is because he has played for us at the WC, and a lot of other high pressure matches. As s result, he won’t be under pressure as much as the newbies like Dennis and others. He is very likely to be more composed and proactive in very tight situations admist tension and pressure than the newbies. Also, he has been playing in the team for long, and already has an understanding with the players. He knows their movements and they know his runs and movements too.
        Essentially, if Aribo is to play behind Osimhen, and we want to accommodate Iheanacho too in the team, right wing is the place. I’m very sure it will work

      • Chief Sports 2 years ago

        100% bro. Kels is too slow to be a winger..I don’t see Kels running up and down a wing(Attack and defense) he doesn’t have the work rate needed for that. Dennis is better suited for that.

      • onwajunior 2 years ago

        I agree with your opinion. Iheanacho is a no no on the wing. He is a expert in losing possession. But with our coaches, nothing is impossible. I think they are prepping him for wing play:

  • We are back to the days of calculators, permutation and combination. If by any chance or mistake Ghana scores, qualification will become harder for us.
    My tip to the coach, is for him to tell Simon not to attempt any dribble in the first half. He should keep it simple. Passes and crosses only. This is because, our opponents already expect him to dribble and are prepared for that and are more likely to dispossess him. So by only passing and crossing without trying to dribble, our opponents will confounded. Then, by second half, Simon should be unleashed to dribble. By then, our opponents will be tiring and no longer at high alert

  • ABDULRAZAK 2 years ago

    In 2017, we qualified for the 2018 World cup almost effortlessly and it seemed surreal because there was no tension. When Gernot Rohr was axed as the Super Eagles head coach in December, i posted on this forum that those with a history of high blood pressure should stay away from watching matches involving the Super Eagles. I will not be watching the match tomorrow. If we win, i will watch the repeat broadcast on my DSTV Explora and if not, so be it. I am not calling for Gernot Rohr to be reinstated but if we fail tomorrow, Segun Odegbami and not Eguavon should be held resposible as chief culprit.

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    It doesn’t matter to me who is playing the advance role between Aribo and Iheanacho. Though I will stick with Kelechi because Aribo doesn’t seems physical enough to cope with the gidigbo of the Ghanaians. I will give Simon only 45 minutes to show that he’s not a fluke at the AFCON.

    One of Dennis or Lookman to start on the right. Etebo and Onyeka must be the double pivot behind Kelechi or Aribo. A Yamri and a Waffi midfield combo right in front of the Oyibo wall is what we need against this physical Ghana team.

    I’ve watched the last game over and over again. As soon as Etebo and Onyeka enter the midfield we took control of the game. The Ghanaians couldn’t cope with their physicality especially Onyeka. We really missed Ndidi in this fixtures, but the SuperEagles will prevail with the necessary adjustments in the middle of the park.

  • Monkey post . You are right. With Rohr it will be 6 point

  • Coach please kindly starts Onyeka in replace of Bonke I suggest that you starts Bassey in left full back Etebo to replace Aribo then Igalo to replace Kelechi
    Let the rest in their positions then watch the first half and see

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago


    You forgot to mention that under GENERAL ROAR the SE became the FIRST AFRICAN COUNTRY to book a ticket for the 2018 WORLD CUP in RUSSIA after emerging WINNERS in a qualifying group that consisted of STRONG TEAMS like ZAMBIA, ALGERIA, and CAMEROON.

  • Larry 2 years ago

    Cerezo do not make any mistake of starting underperforming players like Iheanacho, Chukwueze and Ekong.
    The Ghanaians have discovered Ekong as the weakest link in the defence and won’t be surprised if they try to attack from his position. He lacks confidence and too error prone and jittery for a defender.

    Aina Semi Balogun Zaidu
    Bonke Etebo
    Dennis. Simon

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    With what we played in Kumasi,am really scared for tomorrow’s game. I have Faith we would qualify, but it would never be easy for us..

    NFF are giving free buses tomorrow for the games, meaning they are begging Nigerians to come to the studium.. This shows that NFF are really scared for tomorrow’s game.. Did they give free buses when rohn was coach.. I can’t remember any country giving free buses to their fans ( I commend the free buses idea) but this shows the fear factor from our administrations.. They know Nigerians will kill them tomorrow if they qualify..
    We had a good coach that made qualifications to tournament a smooth ride, yet they removed him.because they Want sexy football.. Did we play the sexy football in Kumasi? We had a coach with a record of qualifying to tournament with games to scare yet they removed him.. A coach you don’t need to provide free buses before he qualifies you for tournament yet they removed him.. Now we are pressing calculator, how Ghana will score one goal and why they should not score one goal… Truly we Nigerians are the cause of our problems..

    If you have BP pls don’t watch tomorrow’s game.. I wish us luck tomorrow

    • Golden Child 2 years ago

      We did not play Ghana (Our Arch Rival) during Rohr’s time, so it is not an apt comparison. The team needs our support now and fear is not a factor here. NFF is just trying to take advantage of home support. If they do not do that, some fans will criticize them for not being proactive.

      Finally, Rohr had his day in the sun, it is time we move past him.

  • Glory 2 years ago

    @ Larry. Good team selection. Thumbs up man. But for your constant oversight of Ekong’s relevance in our defence line; which is quite baffling. Hope it’s nothing to do with tribe; him not being a Yoruba man? Lolzz, Cos your push for Awoniyi n Semi Ajayi gets me thinking.
    While I am not trying to undermine both Awoniyi n Semi being equally quality players for SE, both will need long term camping with SE to enter into their stride n not this 2 , 3 or at most 4 days before a crucial match.
    Anyway Brodaman Larry, Ekong, yes might not be very fast but he makes up for that with his organisation ability; no surprise he is being made the captain. That ability to organise is what puts him above the rest and then combining that with BALOGUN’s vision and awareness, you are having a very difficult defence line to penetrate quite easily.
    What we have to understand, is, defending function more on combinations than individual brilliance. That combination even made stronger by the entire team defending network.
    So to me, this team; players/coaches needs support instead of constant diatribe. The new gaffer is only been there for few months, with players trying to get use to his own football philosophy, different from the old man incharge; Rohr. So it’s so so unfair to start judging anything now.
    There are going to be lots of changes as time goes by; new players will come while under-performing ones will drop by wayside; new tactics will be tried but of course trying too many tactics now can be costly as they don’t have that luxury of time to perfect such which I strongly believe, could easily be the reason CEREZO is sticking to what the players are used to and not necessarily that he is one directional.
    Tactics are not just brought in and executed. Players must perfect that tactics over a period of training in camp before testing it out in friendlies and seeing that it’s worked out well in such friendlies ,then go on to implement it a proper match situation.

    • Larry 2 years ago

      @Glory, this is not about tribe.
      It’s about getting the best for the national team and creating a competitive atmosphere where no player is made to believe he is indispensable.
      Brodaman, we all know the reason why Ekong and some of these players have become benchwarmers in their respective clubsides. Can we say their coaches action is tribalism too ?
      This is the only way our players will sit up and show up whenever they get an opportunity.
      Under Westerhof, Siasia committed commited a blunder in the match against CIV and lost his spot to Amokachi, even the influential Keshi was dropped to the bench for Chidi Nwanu, Ezeogu was replaced by Oliseh.. We all saw how the team became fearless and enterprising.
      There should be nothing like team captain or assistant must start a match. There is nothing wrong with Ndidi leafing this team. Ndidi is one of the few players that can be on the first 11 of any team in the world.
      If you have been following my comments, you will understand that I try to balance it with the truth and specificity. This team can only progress when it is more competitive and made of the best in every position

      • Glory 2 years ago

        Yes @ Larry, I agree with you as it concerns getting the best. But honestly speaking, THE BEST is relative in this case with the national teams. Relative to so many factors such as , individual ability, working combination, available time to train with the team setup, familiarity with the terrain, familiarity with other team members, physicality, experience, etc… I strongly believe Ajayi n Awoniyi time is very close, but we must avoid trying to force it, as doing so may just quickly end their interesting looking, international career.
        Ighalo was doing so well in Spain for years without getting a looking for national team invite. And just when he had started giving up on ever getting to be invited, he started getting loads even up till tomorrow game. These things are being controlled by the ELEMENTS n when it’s your time nothing stops it.

  • We need to play two attackers,
    Osimehn + Ighalo!!
    We need to play two DM,
    Bonke + Etebo!!
    We may have to play three defenders, Ekong + Balogun +Aina/Collins

    Then Amao as AM + Moses as a LWB.


    Ekong + Balogun + Aina/ Zaidu
    Moses +Bonke + Etebo + Aribo + Dennis / Lookman
    Osimehn + Ighalo

    No flamboyancy!!!!
    Score one goal
    Lock down the game with displined players.

  • The Eagles need to take calculated Risks inorder to be super against Ghana’s black stars. I suggest an Italian 5-4-1 formation by giving the midfield a robust diamond structure with 4 midfielders while our deadly Victor Oshimen should opperate as a pure centre forward. This formation can be switched to the 2-5-2-1 formation to make our wings attain max altitude. Ghana will not survive this transitional formation. Coach Eguavoen just be open minded to the Aircraft war strategies, it will work and you will have the last laugh.

    Yours sincerely
    From Edo state.

  • @Glory, spot on! One of the problems with us in this country? We prefer short-cut to long-term planning.

  • Stop broadcasting the coach’s tactics. This information does not help anyone but the opponent.

  • Iheanacho created chances other cant

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