Nigeria’s Super Eagles will begin their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign against the Squirrels of Benin at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium today (Wednesday).
The three-time AFCON champions will be hoping to commence their campaign on a winning note to maintain the leadership of their group.
Soccernet.ng highlights four key things the team must concentrate on if they are to overcome Benin in Uyo.
To unsettle the Squirrels of Benin and make them dance to their tune, the Super Eagles must ensure they score an early goal within the first 10 minutes. This is very important because it will help the morale of the players and help them dictate the pace of the game.
The two international friendly games the team played against Ukraine and Brazil may have exposed the defensive weaknesses of the Super Eagles despite scoring ahead of their opponents.
Recall that the team scored two goals against Ukraine before been pegged back to finish the game 2-2. And against, Brazil, the team scored first and was also pegged back. This scenario must not be repeated against a Benin side that may want to capitalize on Nigeria’s defensive weaknesses in Uyo.
Effectiveness Of The Wingers
The technical crew of the Super Eagles are yet to get the best out of Villarreal winger, Samuel Chukwueze and Nantes’ Simon Moses despite their blissfull performance in their respective clubs in Europe.
Chukwueze, who has been dubbed ‘The New Robben’ due to his dribbling skills and attacking instinct for Villarreal in La Liga, is yet to replicate such form for the Super Eagles even at the 2019 AFCON, where he netted just one goal. There is more to Chukwueze than what he has exhibited for the senior national at the international level.
In the same way, Simon has also failed to turn on his dazzling skills that saw him excel during Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, most especially against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
if the Super Eagles must pick the maximum point today against Benin, they must come out smoking from all angles. The team have the strikers that can deliver the goals for the team irrespective of the Squirrels’ defensive approach to the game.
With players such as Victor Osimhen, Dennis Okeke, Paul Onuachu, Samuel Kalu to mention a few, the team have no excuse not to attack Benin today.