John Obi Mikel says Nigeria have to give everything to win today’s decisive 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria.
The Super Eagles began their campaign on a winning note against Zambia in Ndola, and victory against the Greens will boost their chances of qualifying for the global football showpiece in Russia.
According to the national team captain and Chelsea of England midfielder, the players are aware of the game’s importance and would do all it takes to ensure victory in GodswillAkpabio International Stadium.
“We all know what this match means, why we have to give everything.”
“Yes, we started the race well by winning in Zambia, but we have to approach this match even more seriously.
“The Algerians will come with determination and they will play hard, but we will play harder.
“The World Cup is the biggest stage; every player wants to be there. I am happy we have such a young and energetic team.
“ I played at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but there are many of these players who have never been to the World Cup. They want to be there.
“Three points, that is what we will be playing for. We are committed and the visit of the Vice President Professor YemiOsinbajo to our training in Abuja has motivated us even more.”
Nigeria top Group B with three points, while the Algerians who were held to a 1-1 draw against Cameroon boast of one point with Zambia sitting at the base with no point.
—– As Iheanacho set to lead Eagles attack
Manchester City striker KelechiIheanacho looks set to lead Nigeria’s charge for goals against Algeria in a decisive World Cup qualifier today with Victor Moses and OghenekaroEtebo good to also start.
The 20-year-old Iheanacho has scored in the team’s last four matches and in Wednesday’s morning training he led attack while Watford ace Odion Ighalo, back in the squad after he missed last month’s game in Zambia, featured for the second team.
Ighalo has failed to deliver in a green-white-green shirt of Nigeria and he is currently struggling to score goals in his second season in the Premier League.
The daring Oghenekaro Etebo has walked into the first team and could well also start on Saturday to play behind Iheanacho in coach Gernot Rohr’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
He will provide the shooting prowess and killer instincts in front of goal that Rohr has demanded of his front men.
It is also looking likely that Leicester City star Ahmed Musa will start from the bench for the second straight Eagles game as on-form Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi from Arsenal will run the flanks.