Eagles’ camp opens today, as Esin alerts team over Chipolopolo

Nigeria national football team players pose prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Home-Based Super Eagles are expected to arrive in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, today, as camping for the October 7 crucial Group B World Cup qualifier against the Chipolopolo of Zambia opens. The game is slated for the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

According to reliable sources, the Eagles will begin their first training tomorrow evening, depending on the number of players in camp. However, incase only few players are in camp, proper training will begin on Tuesday when almost all the players would have arrived.

A win for Nigeria will seal the Mundial ticket for the team, which currently tops Group B with 10 points, as against seven by the Zambians after four matches.

Eagles got off to a good start in their campaign when it beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola. Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho scored the two goals.

The Zambians, who are also expected to arrive today in Accra, Ghana, for camping in readiness for the crunchy tie, will thereafter arrive the country with a 42-man contingent, made up of players, team officials, administrative and government delegation.

Meanwhile, former Super Eagles midfielder, Etim Esin, has appealed to the team to thread softly, warning that home advantage was no longer relevant in African football.

“I think we should not underrate the Zambians. This same team defeated the Algerians at home and away. I want to believe that there are no more advantages in home and away games again in Africa football.

“We have to put our house in order, what can kill the Zambians morale is to score early goals, just like we got through Odion Ighalo, against the Cameroonians. This alone will bring confidence into our team and spur them further,” he said.

Esin, who now scouts players for clubs in Europe, said though the Eagles are not yet there in terms of performance, being over confident in the match against Chipolopolo may be the team’s undoing.

“The fact that we beat them at home does not mean we will beat them easily here. We just have to keep our fingers cross, we are not there yet, and over confidence can kill people sometimes. Let us beat them to get the job done even if it is by 1-0 on October 7, by this, we will be able to secure the three points needed for qualification.

“Among the Eagles of today, I think only five have been to the World Cup. I know the rest of the young players will want to be at the World Cup too because that will be the pinnacle of their career.”



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