The three-time Afcon kings battle the five-time continental champions next week for a place at the next edition of the Mundial
Despite concerns surrounding his fitness, Super Eagles striker Umar Sadiq will be available for Almeria’s league clash against Tenerife on Monday and Nigeria’s World Cup qualifying tie against Ghana on Friday, March 25.
La Liga Smartbank Player of the Month in February, Sadiq smashed two goals in Almeria’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Lugo at the weekend.
But the Nigerian cupped an undisclosed ailment afterwards and did not train with the rest of his Rojiblancos teammates on Tuesday and Wednesday.
That would have given head coach Augustine Eguavoen a bit of worry, with the tactician banking on the former AS Roma to help shoot down Ghana next week.
Eguavoen named Sadiq, at the expense of Genk’s Paul Onuachu and Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi, in the 25-man squad set to travel to Kumasi for the first leg of the playoff. The 25-year-old will likely be third-choice centre-forward behind Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Al Hilal hitman Odion Ighalo.
But according to a report in Spanish publications, La Vos de Almeria, Sadiq has not suffered any significant injury and should be fit to start against Tenerife.
Also, there were initial fears in Almeria that Sadiq may miss the Tenerife game on Monday, the same day the striker was expected to report to Nigeria’s camp for their qualifying double-header.
But Estadio Deportivo reports that the Nigeria Football Federation has permitted Sadiq to honour his club commitments before leaving Spain.
Sadiq is super-important to Almeria’s promotion ambitions, with the club winning none of five games played while the ex-Partizan man was away at the 2021 Afcon in January.
The number nine has contributed 24 goals (15 goals, nine assists) in 26 games for Almeria, the most of any player in the Spanish Segunda Division.