Nigeria will regroup next year for another round of games in the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers with a dead rubber tie against Seychelles fixed for March next year in Nigeria.
The Super Eagles are already through to next year Africa Cup of Nations and according to coach of the Nigerian team Gernot Rohr, the game will serve as their first tune up game ahead of their campaign in AFCON 2019.
Owngoalnigeria.com takes a look at the defense of the Nigerian team with our lead editor picking out five major talking points in the defence.
Ekong Is New Defence Chief – From a player who divides opinion to one who is now viewed as one of the most important player in the team. The rise of William Troost-Ekong has been remarkable. Furthermore he has somehow eclipse Leon Balogun as the leader in defense as he is now the most vocal during games.
Semi Ajayi Threatening “Oyibo Wall ” Partnership - He didn’t put a foot wrong against Uganda in the 0-0 friendly draw. Many believed his performance played a big role in Nigeria keeping a clean sheet in the game. At the age of 24 and with Leon Balogun struggling to get games, Ajayi could break up the ‘Oyibo Wall’ pairing of Balogun and William Troost-Ekong which is Rohr’s favourite in central defense.
Back Up To Jamilu Collins Needed – He has brought balance and width to the team since his debut against Liberia in a friendly game. For now he is the only out and out left footed defender in the team which should make them search for another option to the 24 year old else he becomes complacent or the team will suffer in his absence.
Awaziem Has No Spot In The Team Anymore – Rohr stuck by the Porto defender against all odds but he has shot himself in the foot by his lack of game time since returning back to Porto after a successful loan spell in France with Nantes. As things stand now his spot in central defence and also as an emergency full back now belongs to Semi Ajayi.
Ebuehi’s Return Could Spell Doom For Idowu – The expected return of Tyronne Ebuehi to the Super Eagles after his rehabilitation from the injury he picked up before the start of the season could see Idowu who played as a right back in the friendly game against Uganda drop out of the national team. Since the emergence of Collins, Idowu has found it hard to make the squad for game.