The Nigerian team will hope to make it two wins out of two in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, but they go into the clash against the Blue Sharks with a depleted squad
Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr faces a selection problem when the Super Eagles take on Cape Verde in their second match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The preparations for the match at Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena in Mindelo have been far from ideal for the three-time African champions.
Nigeria kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win over Liberia at the Teslim Balogun last Friday but will be without seven players from that game for the clash against Cape Verde.
The Uk contingent, including match hero Kelechi Iheanacho, will all miss the encounter due to the UK’s quarantine rules.
Ola Aina has also been excused for family reasons, while Tyronne Ebuehi and Samuel Kalu did not travel with the team due to an incorrect coronavirus test result.
It leaves Rohr with just 19 players to prepare for the all-important clash at Mindelo. With his options limited, Soccernet looks at the possible XI Rohr will name for the game against Cape Verde.
Maduka Okoye should keep his place in goal following a comfortable evening in the win over Liberia. The Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper kept a clean sheet in the encounter and will hope for the same on Tuesday.
Only Jamilu Collins is available from the defenders that played against Liberia last Friday. With his first choice centre backs unavailable, Rohr will likely pair Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem in defence.
Ebuehi should have come in for Aina at right-back, but due to his unavailability, Abdullahi Shehu will now play right-back.
Collins should keep his spot at left-back ahead of Zaidu Sanusi.
This is where the problem lies for Rohr as he only has two midfielders available to him, and they’ve not played for the team before.
But he has no option than to play them as Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, and Joe Aribo are not available. Malmo’s Bonke Innocent and Bologna’s Kingsley Michael are Rohr’s available options.
However, neither is a creative/attacking midfielder, which means Nigeria’s creative outlet will come from the wings.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Musa could come in and replace Kelechi Iheanacho to partner the main striker. Although, Rohr could also be tempted to play Henry Onyekuru in that role.
Moses Simon should keep his spot on the left flank, while Ejuke or Onyekuru will occupy the other wing. Victor Osimhen will lead the attack, although Paul Onuachu and Terem Moffi are also potential options.
Probable XI: Okoye, Omeruo, Awaziem, Collins, Shehu, Innocent, Michael, Musa, Simon, Ejuke, Osimhen.