Finally after all the mind games between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Chipolopolo of Zambia, the world would would know who has the superior fire power at the end of 90 minutes. The game would kick off in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at 5.00p.m. Nigerian time. Interestingly, both camps (Super Eagles and Chipolopolo) have no injury worries.
Both managers, Gernot Rohr (for Nigeria) and Wedson Nyirenda (for Zambia) have been evaluating their options and have remained very, very selective of what they say before the game. While the Nigerian coach said this would be the toughest game of the Super Eagles under his watch, his Chipolopolo counterpart said a lot of people had thought the group would be all about Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria, he wants the world to give the Zambian national team credit for what they have achieved so far because it has suddenly become a two-horse race between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Chipolopolo of Zambia.
Nyirenda told journalists that, “We (Zambia) are very ready to inflict pains on Nigerians by beating your Super Eagles in Uyo and put ourselves in good position to qualify for the World Cup. If your team could beat us in our home, nothing stops us from doing so to you on Saturday in Uyo. I am not bullish, but confident that my boys will play to form and get the three points at stake. We have a very improved squad different from the team that lost to Nigeria in the first meeting. We are ready to put our youth advantage to use and beat your Eagles.”
It would be recalled that Zambia last tasted victory against Nigeria in a competitive football match at senior level some 32 years ago. There have been 18 matches in all, with the Eagles winning seven, Zambia winning five and six draws. But this is only the second FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the two teams, the first won by the Eagles in Ndola last year. It ended 2 – 1.
In as much as Nigerians wants to believe that Zambia cannot at this time have upper hand over the Super Eagles, the key actors in the Nigerian team have chosen to say little until the blast of the whistle tomorrow. Victor Moses, who has transformed himself into the Super Eagles talisman who was the last of the players to arrive has also joined in trainings in preparations for the make or mare game. Captain of the Super Eagles, Mikel Obi has told Nigerians that the team would rather do all the talking on the pitch of play.