Nigeria can secure their place in next year’s Fifa World Cup when they take on Zambia at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Saturday.
Gernot Rohr’s men are three points clear at the summit of Group B with two games left to go, indicating that victory or at least a draw would push them over the line with a game to spare.
For the Chipolopolo – who are Super Eagles’ nearest rival – a shock win at the ‘Nest of Champions’ would offer them a lifeline to qualify for their maiden World Cup.
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Ajiboye|
|Defenders||Echiejile, Abdullahi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Awaziem, Agbo, Aina|
|Midfielders||Mikel, Onazi, Ogu, Ndidi, Etebo, Oghenekaro|
|Forwards||Musa, Moses, Simon, Ighalo, Iheanacho, Nwakaeme, Iwobi|
Alex Iwobi and Daniel Akpeyi have returned to the squad having missed out of Cameroon game owing to injury.
Plateau United’s Dele Ajiboye takes the place of Dele Alampasu while Tyronne Ebuehi was excused for Uche Agbo who features for Standard Liege in Gernot Rohr’s squad.
There are slight concerns over Ahmed Musa’s form, but he is likely to start from the bench against the Chipolopolo.
Potential starting XI: Ezenwa; Echiejile, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi; Mikel, Onazi, Ndidi, Moses; Iwobi, Ighalo.
|Goalkeepers||Mweene, Nsabata, Chibwe|
|Defenders||Silwimba, Kapumbu, Chama, Sunzu, Tembo, Shamujompa|
|Midfielders||Lungu, Malama, Mtonga, Chaila, Mulenga, Mwepu, Ching’andu, Kabwe, Mbewe|
|Forwards||Shonga, Sakala, Ng’onga, Daka|
Zambia will rely heavily on the ability and experience of Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene as they look to upset the hosts at Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Going forward they are able to call upon the services of Spartak Moscow’s Fashion Sakala and Red Bull Salzburg’s Patson Daka.
Although Edward Chilufya, Brian Mwila and Emmanuel Banda are out of this encounter owing to contrasting reasons, Wedson Nyirenda will be hoping to get the best from his available players.
Potential starting XI: Mweene, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Silwimba, Mtonga, Mwepu, Mulenga, Mbewe, Shonga, Daka