Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr has expressed his worries over his side’s chances in their next World Cup qualifying match.
The three-time African champions take on Cape Verde at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde after starting their campaign with a routine home win over Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos on Friday.
A brace from Kelechi Iheanacho puts Nigeria at the top of Group C ahead of Cape Verde- their next opponents on Tuesday.
While Nigeria will go into the clash in Praia as the slight favourite, coach Rohr is worried about the team’s chances because the team will be without nine players from the squad that faced Liberia.
Soccernet had reported that Nigeria players that ply their trade in the UK would not be part of the team that travels to Praia as Cape Verde is on the UK’s red list.
As a result, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, Willian Troost-Ekong and Oghenekaro Etebo will all miss the clash.
The absence of these players limits Rohr’s options for the clash against the Blue Sharks, even though he called up seven players as replacements.
Speaking to the media after the win against Liberia, Rohr revealed the clash against Cape Verde would be difficult because of the absence of some key players.
“Nine players are leaving, and it’s not easy to build another team in only two days,” Rohr told Nigerian media on Friday evening.
The German tactician also expressed concerns over the playing surface in Cape Verde. The game will be played on a synthetic pitch, and Rohr believes it will be a huge challenge for the players to make a transition from a natural pitch to an astroturf.
“From a heavy grass to a very dry synthetic pitch, we have to show our solidarity and manage this position,” Rohr added.
A win for Nigeria on Tuesday will put them in a commanding position in Group C.
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