Match-starved ADO Den Haag right-back Tyronne Ebuehi, on-loan Standard Liege midfielder Uche Agbo and Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward Anthony Nwakaeme are set to step into starting roles as Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr considers fielding fringe players in Friday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Constantine, our correspondent has learnt.
Also in line for starting jobs in the inconsequential clash against the Desert Foxes are on-loan Hull City defender Ola Aina, young Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, on-loan Anderlecht striker Henry Onyekuru, on-loan Girona forward Olarenwaju Kayode and Norway-based midfielder Chidiebere Nwakali.
The Super Eagles sealed their place at the World Cup after beating Zambia 1-0 in Uyo on October 7 to top Group B, which also houses African champions Cameroon, on 13 points. Nigeria have won four of their five qualifiers.
While Kayode made his international debut in the 1-1 draw against Senegal in Corsica in March, Dutch-born Ebuehi and Onyekuru made theirs in the 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly affair in June. However, Agbo, Nwakaeme and Uzoho will be looking to make their international debuts in Constantine.
Our correspondent learnt that Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo, who got a late call-up to replace injured Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, will also have a chance to force his way back into international reckoning.
Rohr confirmed on Wednesday that he would make six changes to the team that defeated Chipolopolo last month.
The 64-year-old former Burkina Faso manager appears not losing any sleep over the clash against the Desert Foxes as he gave no indication that his team would take the encounter seriously.
But the German says his sights are fixed on Tuesday’s friendly against South American giants Argentina in in Krasnodar, Russia.
“All the games are important, it’s right we have already qualified for the World Cup, so the result is not the most important,” he said in a video posted on the Eagles’ official Twitter account.
“The most important thing in this game against Algeria is to have a good game and also get good results.
“It’s an opportunity for us to see other players who didn’t play because we had our players but now we have six injuries and at least I will make six changes for the game against Algeria and this is an opportunity to see these players who didn’t play so much and it will be interesting to play Algeria in this condition.
“They have a new coach (Rabah Madjer) and they are playing at home so they will be very aggressive.”
Rohr added, “The second game against Argentina is against one of the best teams in the world, who perhaps have the best players. We will have one South American team in our group (at Russia 2018) and also our trip to Russia will enable to us see where we will camp for the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Bursaspor midfielder Mikel Agu has been ruled out of the clashes against Algeria and Argentina.
“Turkey based midfielder Mikel Agu is out of our upcoming games against Algeria and Argentina,” statement on the team’s Twitter account said on Wednesday.
Also, Russia-born defender Brian Idowu is expected to join the Eagles in Krasnodar for the match against Argentina, according toscorenigeria.com.