How Super Eagles can beat the Pirates of Seychelles



The Super Eagles are days away from their 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier clash against Seychelles.

TheCable takes a look at what it would take for the lads to win at the Stade Maine on Saturday.

Francis Uzoho needs to stand in his head

If the Eagles are to succeed in Seychelles, they will need a healthy and in-form Uzoho to help neutralise the vast attacking talents of the Pirates.

The defence needs to play lights out

One key worry for Eagles’ fans heading to Seychelles is the backline.

The likely centre-back pairing of Leon Balogun and Chidozie Awaziem could be the solution. Both the left-back and right-back positions are still up for grabs.

The defense will have Uzoho behind them to help keep things organised but Balogun and Awaziem will have to be at their best.

Kenneth Omeruo has a great deal of experience at right-back but it’s still unclear where Gernot Rohr will play him.

On the left, Brian Idowu has the inside track, but many fans are hoping that the Franco-German decides to deploy Jamilu Collins rather than the bench-warming Lokomotiv player.

Henry Onyekuru and Samuel Kalu will be crucial

With the retirement of Victor Moses and the non-inclusion of Moses Simon for the game, this is the time for Onyekuru and Kalu to shine.

They will surely relish the moment. Nigeria need them in terms of goals and assists.

Kalu’s pace and Onyekuru’s finishing will be key to a Nigerian squad that will need to be efficient when counterattacking.

What to do with Nwakali?

Kelechi Nwakali has become one of the most divisive players among Nigerian fans, with some insisting that his playmaking skills and deadly passes are needed in the Eagles midfield, while others argue that he shouldn’t even be on the roster.

Nwakali has had some strong performances where he has covered well for beaten defenders and even jump-started attacks.

On the other hand, he has also had games when he’s been a virtual turnover machine, putting in a lackadaisical effort and contributing almost nothing going forward.

The Eagles need an in-form striker

Odion Ighalo’s struggles up front in the attack of the Super Eagles have been well noted.

He still has time to turn things around. He has been sensational for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League.

The question remains whether or not he can translate that into success with the Super Eagles.

While his touches and instincts are superb, his finishing thus far with the Eagles has been abysmal.

Another question is whether or not Ahmed Musa should play as the lone striker up front.

He flourishes in a 4-3-3 formation with Al Nassr, but it remains to be seen whether or not Rohr believes Musa can play alone.

Despite Ighalo’s poor form for his country, he has done okay in his hold-up play, an ideal skill for someone playing up top in a 4-2-3-1 set-up.

Whichever striker Rohr uses, the Eagles will need goals to be successful in Seychelles.


TheCable