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Exclusive: 2022 W’Cup Playoff: Choice Of Strikers Against Ghana Will Be Eguavoen’s Biggest Headache –Tijani

Exclusive: 2022 W’Cup Playoff: Choice Of Strikers Against Ghana Will Be Eguavoen’s Biggest Headache –Tijani

Former Nigerian winger, Tijani Babaginda has revealed that the interim coach of the Super Eagles, Austine Eguavoen will have a huge task of selecting the right strikers that will prosecute Nigeria’s 2022 World Cup playoff against the Black Stars of Ghana.

The former Ajax star made this known in an interview with Completesports.com, where he said that the impressive form of Victor Osimhen, Sadiq Umar, Odion Ighalo and Lookman Ademola may give Eguavoen something to worry about.

“There is no doubt that the current strikers in the Super Eagles are not doing badly in the Europe. The likes of Osimhen, Ighalo, Sadiq and others are banging the goals for their respective clubs and it’s a sign of good things to come for the team.

” Again, this will definitely give Eguavoen a serious headache in terms of who to select for the game against Ghana. If he gets the right strikers to start then the team will pick the ticket for Qatar.”

Nigeria is expected to face the Black Stars on Match 25 in Accra before the reverse at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on March 29.

The winner of the game will be one of the five representatives of Africa at the world showpiece in Qatar.


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  • Selfmade 2 years ago

    Nigerians keep on yupping and talking whiles Ghanaians are quiet as a cemetery! Sometimes the quite ones can be dangerous!! All the news of this encounter are coming from the Nigerians whiles Ghana is secretly preparing underground!! Keep on talking! Talk is cheap

    • Greenturf 2 years ago

      Ghanaians too are talking about the match

      • Kunle 2 years ago

        Is it possible that Ghanaians will not be talking about Nigeria team now??
        They talk more than naija, all Ghanaians are players and coaches

  • There is no single sense in what Tijan just said.

  • Kunle 2 years ago

    Is it possible that Ghanaians will not be talking about Nigeria team now??
    They talk more than naija, all Ghanaians are players and coaches

  • Bomboy 2 years ago

    @Selfmade, have you read a Ghanaian sports paper lately?

    • At least we know Ghana are monitoring 15 goalkeepers ahead of the clash against Nigeria.

      • Bomboy 2 years ago

        @deo, going by what I read through the link you posted, Ghana seems to be talking about the forth coming match as much as we are doing. This is a game both sides just can’t be quiet about.

  • Michel 2 years ago

    It will not give him any headache,I know it’s because of Sadiq that u stylishly inserted there that u are working for.we have two strikers in Victor osimehn and ighalo,no other person is getting called up.

  • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

    Subtle tribal-based comment by tijani.sadiq is not just good you hear?Quota people.must merit always be sacrificed for tribe?If sadiq plays that game I will not watch it.see what you are saying without even considering our recent AFCON failure

  • JimmyBall 2 years ago

    The same Sadiq that was selecting leg to use during AFCON? Lol… because he came to do some legovers against Tunisia while missing our best chances… he has now become Critianodinho?

  • Edoman 2 years ago

    Sadiq is not good. It was the greatest mistake Egueavon made that is hurting him to this day.

  • Hassan Tia 2 years ago

    I think Osimhen, Ighalo, Lookman, Dennis, Amoo are good enough to be on Super Eagles attackt; they have goal sensibility and allegaric, so thy will a huge task to Eguavoen to choose for SE line-up versus Ghana , but I think Osimhen and Igalo will be a siutable choice to begin the match.

  • The coaches knew the task ahead and they are equal to it, Ghana will not pose any threat to Nigeria’s qualification to the world cup. Take it or leave it. Ghana will lose home and away.

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    It’s easy to pick Nigeria’s best attackers for the game after all we are not Brazil ha ha..I shall go for 8 attackers namely below,

    Wingers Right: Chukwueze,Lookman
    Wingers Left : Simon,Dennis

    Strikers : Osimhen,Ighalo,

  • O'bill Pam'Pam 2 years ago

    I think the twelfth player (Tactical bench) of each team will play a role on who comes out victorious, on both legs. Ghana may decide to do it the Tunisian way (Pack the bus) and counter us, how do we respond? For long, I’ve noticed that our team can’t complete 10-15 passes in a row without losing the ball. They are not confident on the ball, and bed positioning is another of their problem. None of the central defenders can confidently surge forward with the ball, only Balogun sometimes. I think our best formation is 3-5-2. Osimhen should pair any other lethal Striker, they should complement each other, always interchanging positions. Osimhen with his work rate can tactically play deep, sometimes, allowing any of the wing-backs to attack according to how they notice weaknesses in their defense. This will allow us to retain the ball more, make defense-splitting passes. Amoo, Lookman, Chukwueze, Denis, Iwobi can always try to mesmerize their way through their defense, and since they are playing a high wall defense any foul on them will be a Penalty. The Ghanaians play hard, they are not disciplined in their marking like the North Africans. As I said, the Twelfth Player wins it. For me, I’m looking beyond the qualification, I’m thinking of them perfecting their tactics, and reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup, we have the potential to achieve that, Just give the players the CONFIDO, underrate no one, fear no one, NIJJA no De carry last.

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

    This is so simple Tijani! How is Ighalo partnering with Osimehn as SE strike force headache again??!!

  • Hassan Tia 2 years ago

    Yeha tactic of 3-5-2 will be like this Aina, Troost Ekong, Sanusi- Ndidi, Esiti, Aribo, Lookman, Dennis- Ighalo, Osimhen or 4-2-3-1 as follows:- Aina,Troost,Omeruo, Sanusi- Ndidi,Esiti- Aribo,Lookman,Simon-Osimhen; these tow line-up or tactics will do thier best on Ghana frist encounter, but coaches must prepare well for this fixture.

    • @Hassan Tia and where is Calvin Bassey Super Eagles Best Defender at present today in this your List. You no sabi. Bad list.. Also Ighalo is not better than Dennis. Nonsense list

  • Dear O Bill Pam Pam,

    I am also an exponent of the 3-5-2 formation as I think it can harness and unlock the killer instincts in our players.

    But the 4-4-2 formation that Eguavoen used in the Afcon can also take Nigeria places and help push the boundaries of success. I recorded all our Afcon games and continue to study them. So, I spliced the win against Egypt with the loss to Tunisia and discovered the following;

    – the same 4-4-2 set up was used on inception of both games.

    – against Egypt, the two wingers were often behind the 2 attackers (not on a near parallel line). They (wingers) were alive to their defensive responsibilities which included funnelling back to support the DM and FBs – so Ndidi was not short of support.

    – infact, if you watch closely, the main center forward, Awoniyi, often operated behind the support striker (Iheanacho), making Awoniyi’s runs unpredictable to the Egyptians and also providing additional body for Nigeria in midfield.

    – noteworthy is the fact that Chukwueze’s performance was best when supporting Ndidi and Aina (which Chukwueze performed with dedication and diligence).

    – in-game, the formation fluctuated between 4-4-1-1 and 4-3-3 at times with Simon, Iheanacho and Awoniyi staying up front and Chukwueze dropping deep in right midfield to support Ndidi and Aribo.

    In short, it was an offensive formation with a defensive orientation. Eguavoen accorded the Egyptians the required level of respect which paid off. He was alive to need to defend and then transition to attack with less flair but more focus and fortitude.

    But against Tunisia:

    – the same starting line up with the same 4-4-2 formation was used from the outset.

    – however, as the game progressed, the shape morphed into more of 4-2-4 (a reckless approach that they got away with against Sudan and Guinea Bissau)

    – you had the wingers (Simon and Chukwueze) pushed far further forward so that they are almost in line with the 2 strikers. The wingers were not that tuned in to defensive duties as they had been against Egypt.

    – Ndidi and Aribo were often left to their own devices in midfield. I rewatched and paused the match on occasions and you could see Ndidi at Nigeria’s end of the midfield and Aribo at Tunisia’s end with no less than 4 Tunisian players lurking between them!

    I think Eguavoen allowed himself to get carried away with the wins against Sudan and Guinea Bissau. He inadvertently abandoned the defensive sinews that held the same formation together against Egypt which gave it the mixture of professionalism and pragmatism needed to get the job done.

    Eguavoen didn’t accord the Tunisias with enough respect. He allowed all the razzmatazz around Simon’s group stage performances get to his (Eguavoen’s) head and he lowered his defensive guard, which the Tunisians made him pay for, badly.

    Going forward, should he persist with that 4-4-2 formation, I suggest he revisits the match against Egypt to see what made it so effective. And offensive arrangement with a defensive undertone is what I think is the way forward for Eguavoen.

    He should NEVER underestimate any opposition even if Covid has reduced the players to just one goalkeeper on the pitch!

    • Danny 2 years ago

      Splendid analysis!
      You should be a part of the technical crew.

    • Perfect analysis, Eguavoen did not respect Tunisia hence Nigeria lost the R-16 afcon match. I obviously carried away by the 3 straight wins & depleted Tunisian side. Against Ghana, it will be very tight, i dont expect many goals, because Ghana is very strong. Nigeria has a slight edge to win based on current form, Ghana can win if Nigeria make mistakes. Nigeria better beware because Ghana can create an upset

  • Elsewhere, it is in the news that Osimhen is injured and is at the risk of missing out on the playoff with Ghana.

    I think those managing him shoulfdo more.italuan league is a very strong league with very tough, physical and very very brutal defenders.He should learn to play more intelligently and take calculated risks only.There is a limit to what the body can take both in the short term and long term.Persistent injuries can cut short his career even though his recovery rate is good due to his age.

    His handlers should start thinking of the English league or spanish league where strikers are better protected by the referee.

    Why is his case always pike the legendary antelope that danced to the talking drums and breaks it’s peg before the main dance begins?

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