Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is worried the absence of UK-based players in his squad could make the team’s fixture against Cape Verde on Tuesday difficult.
The team is depleted ahead of playing away to Cape Verde due to COVID-19 red-alert UK restrictions on the Island country.
Rohr will not have the services of all the Britain-based players, including Leicester City forward Iheanacho, who was ‘Man of the Match’ against Liberia.
Others who would not be available for Tuesday’s tie include defenders Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers) and William Ekong (Watford FC).
The rest are midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers), and striker Alex Iwobi (Everton FC).
”We are going to play with another defence, another midfield, and without the goalscorer (Kelechi),” said Rohr. “It is a challenge for the staff and the players. But we have to show our solidarity, and with the 20 players going to Cape Verde, we would be able to make a good team.
But he admitted that they have a huge game in their hands against the Blue Sharks at Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena on the island of Mindelo.
“Some players are leaving because they cannot travel to Cape Verde, and it’s not going to be easy to build a new team in two days,” explained the 68-year-old Rohr. “We are going to play under two extreme conditions, after playing on heavy grass due to the rain (at the Teslim Balogun Stadium) and then another game on a dry pitch (against Cape Verde).”
Nigeria took command of Group C following a 2-0 home win against Liberia’s Lone Star, courtesy of Kelechi Iheanacho’s brace at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday.
Meanwhile, team captain Ahmed Musa will be looking forward to Tuesday’s match with relish since he will be in line for his 100th international cap for Nigeria.