Nigeria’s preparations for the double header World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Cameroon began in earnest on Monday as 14 Super Eagles players and their technical handlers arrived Uyo from Abuja.
The contingent which flew from the capital city by Dana Air arrived Uyo, venue of the Match-day 3 of the qualifying round at about 5 pm to be joined by Dele Alampasu and Ikechukwu Ezenwa who were already on ground for the must-win clash with the reigning African champions.
On board, the flight from Abuja were Captain of the team John Mikel Obi, Odion Jude Ighalo, William Troost Ekong, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Elderson Echiejile, Chidozie Awaziem, Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Daniel Akpeyi, Oghenekaro Etebor and Mikel Agu.
The team’s Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr, led the full compliment of the technical officials into Uyo ahead of the training expected to commence this morning at the practice pitch of the Godswill Akpabio Stadium fondly called the Nest of Champions.
Expected to join the squad today is the trio of Shehu Abdullahi, Aaron Samuel and new invitee, Anthony Nwakaeme of Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Israeli top flight.
Chelsea star Victor Moses who posted on his twitter handle at the weekend that he was home-bound to help Nigeria defeat Cameroon was yet to arrive Uyo as at press time last night, although team officials admitted they were expecting him to join the rest of the squad.
Meanwhile, Ighalo has promised to score goals against the Lions come Friday evening.
The Changchun Yatai forward has regained his scoring tricks since arriving the Chinese Super League having scored 11 leagues goals this season.
“It is true, I have been on a great scoring run. I must say I came back with my scoring boots and I pray I convert my chances against Cameroon.
“Though winning is paramount to me as that is the main aim of the team, I desire to score against Cameroon,” the former U-20 forward told AOI Football.
Nigeria will face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Friday in the first of the two clashes between both sides as the qualifiers resume this weekend.
Nigeria is leading the Group B with six points from two games while Cameroon are the closest foes as they have harnessed just two points from two games. Zambia and Algeria occupy third and fourth spot on the log with each having just one point.
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions also reported to camp yesterday with 20 of the original 23 players invited by Coach Hugo Broos.
They will be joined by three replacements of players that have asked to be excused from the match against Nigeria.