Nigeria coach to count on 'experienced' Mikel and Moses against Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Mar 2016

Mikel John Obi
France's Mathieu Valbuena, left, and Nigeria's Mikel John Obi fight for the ball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014 (AP)

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia believes that his experienced players, such as Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and West Ham striker Victor Moses, would  have an important role to play against Egypt in their double header in the Afrocam Nations Cup qualifiers.

The Super Eagles will host the Pharaohs on 25 March in Kaduna before playing them again four days later at Borg El-Arab stadium in Alexandria.

Mikel and Moses are leading a 43-man preliminary list that also includes other stars such as CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa, Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho and Watford striker Odion Ighalo, who has scored 15 goals for his side in the Premier League so far this season.

"Egypt will be coming with their best players and I strongly feel Mikel and Moses’ wealth of experience will come in handy if we are to pick three points against Egypt in Kaduna," Siasia told Nigerian newspaper Vanguard on Tuesday.

"I am really impressed with Mikel’s attitude towards this important game; he has called in to confirm his readiness for the clash

"Victor Moses has pledged to return too and this is quite encouraging at a time we need our top players against Egypt.

The newly-appointed coach has admitted that Egypt's clash will be tough, calling on the Nigerians to support the team and "show belief" in them.   

"I want to passionately appeal to Nigerians, everybody, to show belief in the team and give us total support," he said.

"It will not be easy, but if we stick together and present a united force to fight this battle, I believe we will triumph."

With only the group winners guaranteed automatic qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, second-placed Nigeria have no choice but to beat group leaders Egypt to improve their position in the group.

Egypt are leading group G with six points, two ahead of Nigeria. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: