By Semiu Osho in London:
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has highlighted the importance of Saturday’s friendly match against England to the team’s quest of having a successful outing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, just as he confirms that injured Moses Simon won’t be fit to merit a berth in the final 23-man squad, reports Completesportsnigeria. com.
The three-time African champions will face the Three Lions in their second pre-World Cup friendly at the Wembley Stadium.
Captain John Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi and a number of first team regulars were not involved from the start in Monday’s 1-1 draw against Democratic Republic of Congo in Port Harcourt.
And Rohr indicated that he will name a strong side against Gareth Southgate’s men.
“Tomorrow, we would play a big team like England, it is an important game for us,” Rohr stated during his pre-match press conference here in London before the team’s training session at the Wembley Stadium on Friday.
“It will be an interesting game for us. In the game against Congo, we didn’t play our best team, but we will change things against England and play our best players.
“The atmosphere is going to be great and we hope to enjoy it and possibly win the game.”
Rohr also hinted that Gent of Belgium winger, Moses Simon has been ruled out of the World Cup after a latest medical scan confirmed that he won’t be fit for the competition.
“We have all our players in camp. Moses was the last to arrive camp and he has had just one training session with us and will have another today (Friday),” he stated.
“All the ready players are ready for the World Cup except for Moses who is out for four weeks.
With the team’s first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme also ruled out of the World Cup on health ground, the fight for Eagles number one shirt has generated heated arguments among the fans.
Young goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, seems to be the favourite after the team’s last three games against Poland, Serbia and DR Congo but Rohr insisted thatv the position is still up for grabs.
“Uzoho came in against Argentina and since then he has been showing confidence great effort, we have three goalkeepers,” he declared.
The former Niger Republic and Gabon coach also played down the the Super Eagles’ chances of becoming the first African country to win the World Cup.
“We are not among the favourites. If you look at the FIFA ranking, you will see there are teams who are better than us,” he remarked.
“It is important for us not to think we can win the World Cup.”