SIERRA LEONE – The Super Eagles of Nigeria are billed to fulfil the aspiration of Nigerian fans as they take on Sierra Leone in Freetown, in the reverse fixture of the AFCON qualifier.
The Eagles will be laden with the pressure to win even as the Leone Stars would claim bragging right on the pitch following the amazing draw they earned against Nigeria last week.
But, such saying (boasting from Sierra Leone) should motivate the Gernot Rohr-led side to pay them back in their own coin with an emphatic win on Tuesday.
With the expectations brewing ahead of this fixture, lets evaluate three Nigerian professionals who must be on the pitch when the Super Eagles take on Sierra Leone.
Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium)
The star forward should be given a chance in the team to make his case in the Super Eagles team. He’s one of the underutilized players in the Eagles mix partly maybe because he’s not in the top five Leagues in Europe like the Premier League.
But with things falling apart in the Super Eagles sect and the entire group needing a response, he must be given a role to perform in earnest.
Though Nigeria has Kelechi Iheanacho and Paul Onuachu in the mix.
But it may well be Emmanuel’s chance to shine for the team as the pressure continues to build on the side ahead of the must-win AFCON cracker.
Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Belgium)
The Dutch-based defender would be expected to play at some point in the Sierra Leone return leg against Nigeria.
The Eagles boss was criticized for keeping the talented player on the bench just even when the teams’ XI was made public.
And his absence proved costly as the team lacked quality and dynamism in the right back position.
His inclusion would be a positive step to the redemption seeking Super Eagles as much will be at stake in Freetown on Tuesday.
Ebuehi has caught the eye of many Nigerians in Europe this season. And his absence from the Eagles team set up on Friday came as a shock to many who craved to see him play on the pitch.
Ola Aina (Fulham, England)
The Super Eagles defender has been impressive this term thanks to his move to London-based Premier League side, Fulham.
His versatility in the full-back position is commendable even as he can play in the central defence.
With Kevin Akpoguma’s poor showing in the right-back coupled with Zaidu Sanusi second half difficulties against Sierra Leone.
He could be expected to feature as Rohr and Nigeria aims to make amends from the 4-4 draw at the weekend.
He deserves to be on the pitch as he’s got the knack to replace any of the two aforementioned players in the Nigerian defence.