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Super Eagles, Nigeria Expects…

Super Eagles, Nigeria Expects…

SoccerTalk by Mumini Alao:                                                                                                                 
 I WASN’T going to write a preview of the Super Eagles World Cup qualifier against Zambia this weekend at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
My thinking was, what  is there to analyse when everybody knew already what was going to happen.
Oh, who says he/she doesn’t know what is going to happen? You, dear reader? Com’on! Of course, you know what is going to happen. The Super Eagles are going to beat the Zambians and qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals. THAT is what is going to happen, in sha Allah!
It’s a very long time that I have felt this bullish about our national football team. As recently as late August/early September this year when we faced Cameroun in that dramatic World Cup qualifying double-header, I wasn’t this confident about our team. In fact, I declared the Eagles as the underdogs against the   Indomitable Lions only for them to stun everybody with a comprehensive home victory and an impressive away draw.
But the situation and the circumstances are different against Zambia. The Eagles cannot hide from the fact that they’re the overwhelming favourites this time around. We all EXPECT them to win!
That’s not saying the Zambians will be pushovers, however. Any African team that beats powerhouse Algeria home and away like the Zambians have done deserves respect. But, to be frank, the Eagles are a class above the East Africans.
Since coach Gernot Rohr took over, the Eagles have discovered a new spirit and new confidence. If we have great expectations of them now, it is because of the way they have played so far in this World Cup qualifying race.
However, one real danger that I fear is complacency. Quite often, the Eagles have pleasantly surprised us when they were written off and have disappointed when expectation was high. There’s always a likelihood of a repeat but,   thankfully,  I can’t see any  signs of that happening against Zambia. I have observed the team closely and read many interviews by Rohr and his players. The message I get is that they all seem very focused on the task at hand. They know that the Zambians are coming for a fight and they are ready for them.
A Tweet by left-back Elderson Ehiejile (@Elderson) in symptomatic: “Only one thing on my mind: #NGAZAM.” It was accompanied by a photograph of the player, looking serious and determined.
Another possible danger is what Nigerian Olympian athlete Enefiok Udo-Obong describes as the “psychological stress and pressure that all footballers and sportsmen feel when they are on the verge of accomplishment.” Being just one win away from grabbing the ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Eagles could suffer from this type of psychological pressure. But I expect them to overcome that with the experience of captain Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Ogenyi Onazi who have all been to a World Cup before and know how to deal with such situations.
So, Nigeria ticks all the right boxes ahead of Zambia. History is on our side as we have recorded more wins against them including beating them 2-1 in Ndola in the first leg of this tie; we lead them by three points and a healthy goal difference in our World Cup qualifying group; we are playing at home; we have the better players who are hungry to secure the World Cup ticket; we have more experience at this level; and we have a coach, Gernot Rohr, who I consider to be our “star player” because of his tactical nous.
Nigeria has all the necessary ammunition to silence Zambia’s pre-match boasts on Saturday. My prayer is for mother luck to also be on our side.
See you in Russia 2018!
When City Came To London…
COURTESY of Star Lager who signed on Chelsea Football Club as their latest partners in the elite #StarFootballLeague last week in London, I was in the crowd at Stamford  Bridge last  Saturday when Manchester City confronted champions Chelsea in what I rate as the best game of the English Premier League so far this season.
For me, City were such a joy to watch with their excellent passing and movements. They   were  so  dominant en-route  to   their   1-0   win   that  even Chelsea fans admitted that they’d been let off rather lightly as the margin of victory could have been higher. Where I sat in the crowd, I could feel the tense sense of surrender among the home fans.
From a Nigerian perspective, I Tweeted my disappointment that Victor Moses was not fielded by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. But when one of my followers responded that the omission would leave the player fresh for the Eagles game against Zambia, I concurred.


 #StarFootballLeague is a coalition of football league and clubside partners put together by Star to excite their Nigerian customers. Four lucky winners (Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie, Chinedu Jude Mbanefo, Onyedika Nwokedike and Nneamaka Anyanwu) were sponsored on an all expense paid trip to witness the   formal signing  of the Star-Chelsea partnership and also watch the Chelsea-City game.
When I asked the winners about their experiences,   they were united in
describing it as a “trip of a lifetime.” Even for me, it was great fun too.
star lager-takes-the-for-fans-to-stamford-
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  • being looking forward to ur preview..i must confess that your write ups boost my confidence going into any game invloving our dear Super Eagles…haven read this i am rest assured we are gonna carry the day

  • Charles shilaka 4 years ago

    Very nice piece there by Mumini Alao. Our team, the Eagles have all the ingredients and what we pray and hope for is ‘MOTHER LUCK!’. Good Luck!

    • the outsider 4 years ago

      I hope this dude comes back to write a new chapter to boost the morale of all you hallucinating flightless birds supporters on how you will qualify for the Africa cup.The bogey team is now in Uyo. Say no more.Once we nail you to the wall on Saturday, you will only have the Africa cup in mind.

      • Donbenie 4 years ago

        Bogey team ?..Zambia?.. seems like you need to go back to school to appreciate the term not surprised with all the noise coming from your camp,that’s what happens when the lizard suddenly fancies itself a Crocodile.. #KEEPDREAMING

  • @Alao, why are you calling Algeria a football powerhouse. Unless you means that all teams are powerhouses. The way I see it Africa powerhouses are Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Morocco and Ghana. If you defeat any of the mentioned countries home and away, then you should be reckoned with. Beating Algeria that are weak is not a feat. Nigeria will do it without stress on match day 6 in November. It is this type of your talk that is giving these Zambians the mouth to talk big and see themselves as coming here of all places to beat us. Listen to what their loudmouthed coach has been vomiting. He promised to rain “pain” on Nigerians. Can you imagine that? It is because writers like you will on one hand say Nigeria will defeat Zambia but on the other hand will say they will be tough because they defeat a “powerhouse” home/away. Why won’t their head swell. Did Mahrez play in their away win? Zambia will always say if South Africa came and conquer us they will do better but they will never say we used our B-team then. Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Leon Balogun, Odion Ighalo, Carl Ikeme, Alex Iwobi and many did not play that match. Write something to frighten these Zambians and bring them to earth. You are busy making them see themselves as having a chance of coming here to get a win and then beat Cameroon while Algeria will beat us in Algiers for them to go Russia’18. You should know what you are doing o. Write that Zambia cannot beat Cameroon in wherever in Zambia. So they will remain in their 7 point while Nigeria will go to Russia on 16 points. That will give them something to worry about. Nigeria 6-0 Zambia. I am not joking with that prediction. Who are Chipolopolo aka copper bullet, compared to the Super Eagles? I wonder sef.

    • He has every right to call the powerhouse..they are among the few African countries that have been to the World cup thrice,won the African nations cup and with the kind of players they also have.Algeria’s problem is more of administrative and players high handedness,where they have used three different coaches in this affects stability of the team..and do get your facts right..Mahrez played in Zambia’s away win he even lost a penalty which might have changed the tide of the Game..and iwobi also played against South Africa

  • EGINNA1000 4 years ago

    I am just wandering who gave the zambia liver to even when a country like nigeria is talking about football or iz’t because they won afcon in 2012 or what? or are they thinking that eagles are like fox? our eagles are super now. this new look eagles can fly above the sky. russia2018 is our distnetion not country on earth can stop us not even might teams like brazil,spain,germany,france and italy can stop us from going to russia. com’on not even our namiss argentina can stop us on saturday talkless zambia.

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 4 years ago

    Algeria lost the match against Zambia because their defence line was bad which Zambia exploited that is giving them false hope to defeat Nigeria. The peevish school boys their arrogant coach brought to Uyo few hours ago will have CONTRITION TWINING THEM like a snake after they would have been taught soccer lessons tomorrow on how not to insult Nigerians. They will fall like a pack of cards after losing the encounter by 4 unreplied goals or more. They (Zambia) will concede an own goal in the match. Zambia claimed 6 points from Algeria and Nigeria will do same against Zambia and Algeria. Our destiny is in our hands. Remember Argentina ’78 world cup qualifiers in Lagos against Tunisia, what happened through Godwin Odiye? Nigeria should be careful, just like my dear Mumuni Alao said: no COMPLACENCY.

  • omo9ja 4 years ago

    Yes Mr. Mumin Alao. In Sha Allah, Nigeria will beat Zambia to the world cup ticket. All they know to do best is running their mouths like when Messi running his legs on the pitch of play. Like former president Olusegun Obasanjo said few years ago, “Super Eagles, show them pepper” Eagles will once again show the Zambian team the real pepper in Uyo comes on Saturday. Nigeria is quite different to Algeria if Zambians doesn’t know, they should ask from Cameroonians and the Algerians. Till tomorrow In sha Allah because,I do not like to exchange words with Zambians. Good luck to my beloved team, the Super Eagles of Nigeria. God bless Nigeria.

  • Tomorrow is THE DAY. I want our Super Eagles to silence that mannerless coach and their yeye country people with many goals and In Jesus Name it shall be done. Amen.

  • goodheart 4 years ago

    because Nigeria and Algeria have both ‘ERIA’ at the end of their spellings,You think you can beat Nigeria just like that. If football was played with mouth, cameroon would have defeated Nigeria home and away. If Zambian stars were good, why are their players not playing in good European clubs as the Super Eagles. Nig 4 : 1 Zam. GO SUPER EAGLES, ALL THE WAY TO RUSSIA.

  • Oloyede Ayodele 4 years ago

    Oga Mumini, You don join them o. The expectations keep going to high heavens and I refuse to fall for this!
    I would have preferred your title to be NIGERIANS DON’T EXPECT! because as you rightly pointed out “…Quite often, the Eagles have pleasantly surprised us when they were written off and have disappointed when expectation was high.” And a few examples which RESULTED IN NONE QUALIFICATIONS below will suffice to put the Super Eagles on their toes.
    Remember Nigeria v Tunisia 0-1 in Lagos 1977
    Remember Nigeria v Algeria 0-2 in Lagos 1981
    Remember Nigeria v Zambia 0-0 in Lagos 1985
    Remember Nigeria v Angola 1-1 in Kano 2005
    Remember Nigeria v Guinea 2-2 in Lagos 2011
    Remember Nigeria v Congo 2-3 in Calabar 2014

    He who has ears… A word is enough for the wise and Super Eagles I believe shall be wise come Saturday.

    Goodluck Super Eagles

  • AGBOKE UCHENNA Kingsley 4 years ago

    Ayo please stop this u’r “doom”prophesy why are you trying 2 bring down the hope of 180 million people in this country.see the zeal in the players and not the thought of men like u.goodluck super eagles

  • @Oloyede Ayodele. With your mindset I may not be too far off if I should say the meaning of your name(1st name & surname) is “negativity” which has its root from the Egyptian word for “deep doubt(er)(s). You have been spreading this negative feeling throughout anywhere anyone comment on the match vs Chipolopolo. What is your problem? Are you a Nigerian or you are from Togo or Benin republic? You even go about abusing those who express strong confidence that Nigeria will maul Zambia today. Why are you such a busybody? Stop it!!!!!!!!!!