With only France based forward being expected, 22 players including stand-in-captain trained at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Tuesday evening as the Super Eagles stepped into gear for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying battle against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg.
At training as well were goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Theophilus Afelokhai and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Jamilu Collins.
There were also midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Mikel Agu, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Samuel Chukwueze.
Table –toppers Nigeria actually need just one point from Saturday’s encounter inside the FNB Stadium in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, to be sure of a slot at next year’s continental house party, but a combination of national pride, assumed rivalry between both teams and commitment to avenging a stinging defeat by the Bafana Bafana in Uyo 17 months ago has adorned this match with a totally different garb.
The Nigeria delegation to Saturday’s big match will depart the country aboard a chartered flight from the Benin City Airport on Thursday evening.
The Eagles are expected to have a feel of the picturesque FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon by 3.30pm.