Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has reportedly named his starting XI for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya.
Francis Uzoho starts in goal and in front of him will be Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Jamilu Collins in defence. Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo are the two holding midfielders, while Iwobi plays behind Isaac Success, who has displaced Odion Ighalo in the team.
Success will be flanked by stand-in skipper, Ahmed Musa and Samuel Kalu.
The game is scheduled to kick off 4pm Nigerian time, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Libya tops the group with four points, same with South Africa but have superior goal difference. Although they have not played here before, they enjoy a dreaded reputation among Uyo football fans. The Libyan national team have not lost a match yet in the series and went to South Africa and pulled a goalless draw against Nigeria’s conquerors away.
Speaking earlier in the week, Rohr said, “we have done all we need to do to face Libya and achieve a good result. So far, I am happy with their level of fitness and we have as well done all the tactical preparations.”
Rohr is not moved, one bit by news of the resignation of Libyan head coach, Adel Amrouche who fell out with that country’s football authorities for non-payment of salaries and interference in his management of the national team.
“As far as I am concerned, that hasn’t changed anything. We have seen the team in the video and they played fantastic football against South Africa. They almost won. The coach may have gone but the players remain the same and it is the same team.
“At times it is even more difficult against a new coach because everybody want to show what he can do. They have good sense of organisation and like to play counter as well. “We are ready for them and we are happy to play in Uyo, we like the pitch and the people here. We lost our first match against South Africa, which means this time, we have to win. We have to go and attack to win this game.”
Rohr regretted that his captain John Obi Mikel was not fit to be in Uyo for the Libya match. “He has a knee problem and is still recuperating. Even in his club, he has not been playing. Once he recovers fully, he will rejoin the team,” the coach assured.