The Super Eagles will be aiming to return to winning ways on Friday (today) when they take on Liberia in a Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C African qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles haven’t won in their last two games, losing 1-0 and held 0-0 by Cameroon in double friendlies in June.
Liberia on their part have only recorded one win in their last five games.
The game is the first between both countries since 2012, where the Eagles annihilated the Lone Star 6-1 in Calabar after rallying to a 2-2 draw in Monrovia in the reverse fixture.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners, who will be looking forward to their 10th win against the Lone Star, have recorded nine wins in their last 14 encounters, losing three and recording two draws.
However, a win will leapfrog the Eagles to the top of Group C – a position Gernot Rohr wants his team to be after Friday’s game – following Cape Verde and Central African Republic’s 1-1 draw in their match-day one encounter in Douala, Cameroon on Wednesday.
“We want to go all out for a win on Friday (tomorrow),” Rohr told a virtual press conference monitored by PUNCH Sports Extra on Thursday.
“We played them in a home friendly in 2018 and from that team there are still some players.
“Also, we had the opportunity to watch their three friendly games in June.
“They played in Tunisia twice and the one other in Algeria and I had my scout there, who watched the games. So, during our stay in Austria, Liberia had three games in North Africa.
“They have a team, some of their players are in big clubs, so I think we know them a little bit and we already had some video sessions with our players. It is a really good team and we never underrate them or any other teams.”
Meanwhile, Eagles vice-captain, William Troost-Ekong, who celebrated his 28th birthday in the Eagles camp on Wednesday, will make his 40th appearance for the Eagles in the encounter to be watched by 5,000 fans.
The Watford defender, who made his first appearance for the Eagles in a 2-0 win over Chad in June 2015, has scored twice for Nigeria.
Elsewhere, Nantes winger Moses Simon will seek to end his 14-game goal drought for the team.
Simon, capped 30 times, last scored for the Eagles in their 1-1 draw against Seychelles in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football has approved a request by the Nigeria Football Federation for the players to wear black armbands at the match, in honour of Nigeria legend Thompson Usiyan, who died in California, USA on Tuesday.
Usiyan, described as a goal-a-game forward for the Eagles in the late 1970s, died of colon cancer.
The gesture also simultaneously honours the memory of Brigadier-General Dominic Oneya, former Chairman of then Nigeria Football Association who died early August.
After the match today, the players from the United Kingdom (Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Oghenekaro Etebo, William Troost-Ekong, Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun) will fly back to their base, with the rest of the team travelling to the island of Mindelo on Sunday for Tuesday’s clash with the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde.
SOURCE: THE PUNCH