Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Eagles AFCON 2019 final squad

Kelechi Iheanacho faces Zimbabwe hurdle

George Aluo and Ifeanyi Eduzor

One player that cannot afford to treat the Super Eagles versus Zimbabwe June 8 friendly in Asaba as a mere friendly is England based Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Eagles going by the pre Egypt 2019 Nations Cup program drawn up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would before hitting the land of the Pharaohs play Zimbabwe at Asaba, a game which would afford Gernot Rohr an opportunity to see his players before drawing up his final 23-man squad.

A competent Eagles source disclosed exclusively to The Nigerian Xpress Sports that one player that would closely be watched by Rohr in the Zimbabwe game is Kelechi Iheanacho who many pundits have in the first place faulted his inclusion in the provisional 25-man squad.


“Rohr would use the Zimbabwe game to make up his mind on Iheanacho. He would use him in that game, ostensibly to see how well he would perform. Rohr would after the match decide on the players to drop as the last warm up game against Senegal on June 16 would be for those to prosecute the tournament proper,” our source said.

We further gathered that the Eagles Franco German tactician has vowed to go to Egypt with the nation’s best legs based on current form.

READ ALSO: Ahmed and his last days in Kwara Government House

“Rohr knows the implication of going to the tournament with players who can’t deliver. He is going to settle for the best given the huge task ahead of him,” our source further stated.

Related Posts

Meanwhile, former Eagles defender, Godwin Okpara has advised Rohr to ensure that only players who impress in camp and are physically, psychologically and mentally fit make his final AFCON list.

In an interview with The Nigerian Xpress Sports, Okpara said that while he is impressed with Rohr’s provisional list, he is particularly concerned about the form of some of the players in their clubs.

“I want to say that I am happy with the 25 man provisional list released by the technical crew of the Super Eagles which includes some of the country’s regulars and I pray that none of them picks injury during preparations for the tournament proper.

READ ALSO: VAR to be used in Nations League finals week, says UEFA

However, it’s important for the Franco- German handler of the team to know that this is the biggest football fiesta in the continent and he should not gamble with any of the players whose form is suspect no matter who the person is. He should ensure that those that make the final list are not only in top form but have no injury worries as that is the only way he can succeed in Egypt.”

Okpara, who was part of the Super Eagles France 1998 World Cup squad as well as a member of the 2000 Nations Cup and Summer Olympics further warned that the Eagles must not be complacent during the tournament.

“I’m confident that the Super Eagles will put up a good performance in Egypt but for that to happen, the players must take all their matches seriously, especially their Group matches. They should realize that Group B is one of the toughest groups in the championship because all the other countries in that group will be aiming to send a message to the rest of Africa that they are no more minnows in African football.

“When you look at the teams critically, you will realise that Guinea is not new to us and matches involving Nigeria and them in the past have always been difficult while Madagascar and Burundi are coming to Egypt to announce to the continent that their football has come of age.”