Super Eagles’ coach Gernot Rohr will be fielding a largely experimental team today as Nigeria file out against the Warriors of Zimbabwe in a pre-AFCON 2019 international friendly game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Completesports.com reports.
Nigeria and Zimbabwe have qualified for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to kick-off in Egypt on June 21 with both countries using today’s game to test-run the preparedness of their respective teams.
The game will especially provide Rohr the chance to test some of his players in real match situation after which he will name his final 23-man squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals
Most of the Eagles players already have unofficial guaranteed spots in the team while the two players to be dropped are expected to be from the defensive, midfield and attacking departments.
Mikel Obi will captain the team as Rohr looks to see how he will bond with the squad having been out of the team since he featured at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In the Super Eagles’ defence, pundits expect Rohr to decide from the quartet of Ola Aina, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and Chidozie Awaziem, while the coach will also be taking a closer look at Semi Ajayi and John Ogu both of whom can give the provide defence and midfield options.
The attack will see straight competition between the trio of youngsters Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen and Henry Onyekuru, while Rohr will likely give Kelechi Iheanacho some playing time to boost his confidence following little activity at Leicester City during the 2018/19 season.
How these Super Eagles players fare in the game would determine their AFCON 2019 fate even though it will still not be an easy decision for Rohr who has to make the call.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are in the Group B alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi for the AFCON 2019 finals, while Zimbabwe are scheduled to play against host Egypt, DR Congo and Uganda in Group A.
Past Encounters: Super Eagles Vs warriors
Nigeria have played six matches against Zimbabwe, recording four wins, one draw and one loss. Below is the breakdown:
Date Match/Result Competition
01 Aug 1981 Zimbabwe 2-0 Nigeria International Friendly
16 Jul 1989 Nigeria 3-0 Zimbabwe Africa Cup of Nations
30 Jul 1989 Zimbabwe 1-1 Nigeria Africa Cup of Nations
05 Sep 2004 Zimbabwe 0-3 Nigeria FIFA World Cup
07 Oct 2005 Nigeria 5-1 Zimbabwe FIFA World Cup
27 Jan 2006 Nigeria 2-0 Zimbabwe Africa Cup of Nations
By Sulaiman Alao