It is has been widely reported in local media that Eguavoen will ring massive changes to his squad that will face Guinea Bissau in the saw dust last group game encounter.
With the Super Eagles' second round status confirmed following 2 wins against Egypt and Sudan in penultimate games, a starting 11 made up of fringe players has been posited to be utilised.
According to a reputable media outlet, the following 11 players will probably make up the line up: Uzoho, Ebuehi, Ekong, Ajayi, Collins, Ndidi, Nwakali, Iwobi, Olayinka, Iheanacho and Ejuke.
Here are my initial observations about this proposed squad:
– Ndidi and Nwakali showed good understand against Sudan. The Leicester man had freedom to foray forward with Nwakali holding the forth deeper in midfield. It will be fascinating to see how their interaction develops.
– Tyrone Ebuehi will have to pull a rabbit out of his boot to knock Aina’s performances thus far into a cocked hat.
– A flamboyant display from Collins might sent tongues wagging. Because, for all of Zaidu’s good works and attention-to-position, his crossing deliveries have let him down. Does Collins offer something refreshing?
– I make no bones of being a fan of Uzoho. Okoye, who has been okay by and large, did display some unconvincing moments in recent matches. Will Uzoho, playing second fiddle in 2 Afcons in a row, make a case for starting berths going forward?
– Semi Ajayi does conjure occasional moments of class with his movements and threats at set peices. His Achilles Heel is aerial ball. I trust Eguavoen to work with him on this. If that part of his game is nailed on the head, he might yet give a decent account of himself.
– Ejuke was selfish in the match against Egypt. If he drops that mantle, he will be a major asset against Guinea Bissau and beyond.
– A compelling and mature display for Iwobi against Guinea Bissau might make it difficult for him to be relegated to the bench in a crucial second round tie potentially against Algeria or Tunisia.
– Olayinka making the starting line up means Sadiq Umar hasn’t been entirely impressive in the time afforded him thus far.
– Coach Eguavoen went for his preferred 4-4-2 YouTube-illustrated formation against Sudan and it produced an emphatic 3:1 scoreline. However, it is a reckless approach that left us short in midfield when the formation morphed into 4-2-4. In modern football, hardly any coach uses 4-2-4 in game. It leaves corridor of opportunities for opponents in our midfield and leaves our defense vulnerable to incessant pressure. Even the Sudanese almost took advantage.
This sort of arrangement will (in-game) see a front 4 of Iwobi-Iheanacho-Olayinka-Ejuke with the midfield duo of Nwakali-Ndidi and a back 4 of Ebuehi-Ekong-Ajayi-Colins.
Whilst in truth we have the potential to score many goals with it,I am not too comfortable with this constellation against more formidable teams who will take command of the midfield to free up their deadly strikers.
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