By Chidera Akalonu
Nigerian International Victor Moses has kept to his word, with the Chelsea right wing – back finally reporting for international duty in Uyo yesterday afternoon ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against former African champions Zambia.
Moses did not feature in Chelsea’s last Premier League game against current table toppers Manchester City as Antonio Conte ordered him to rest.
There are fears that the former Liverpool and Wigan star might not be fit on Saturday, October 7 when Nigeria slugs it out with Zambia.
“I am happy to be back again, and this time around, I want to help my country to pick the 2018 World Cup ticket by beating Zambia on Saturday,’’ Moses said on arrival.
Moses was given an extra day by coach Gernot Rohr to rest and he will now be expected to be part of this evening’s training at the match venue in Uyo.
For the first time in October, the German tactician will also monitor Chelsea loanee Ola Aina, Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi, Nantes defender Chidozie Awaziem and Gent winger Moses Simon.
Meanwhile, World Cup foes, Zambia have landed in Abuja in batches from their training base in Ghana and are expected to fly out to Uyo today.
Coach Wedson Nyirenda had three days in Ghana to acclimatise to West African geographical conditions and put together his team.
Red Bull Salzburg striker Patson Daka, who suffered a knock in a league game in Austria on Sunday, will team up with the squad in Abuja later today.
Nyirenda has had to do without the injured Platinum Stars striker Brian Mwila and Oostende midfielder Emmanuel Banda.
Sweden-based Edward Chilufya also misses out due to his resident permit process that has yet to be sorted by his club Djugardens.
The Copper Bullets will be set for a big pay day if they upset the form guide and beat Nigeria at the Nest of Champions, as that will take them to ten points, level with the Super Eagles, ahead of the last round of matches in Group B.
For participating in the World Cup, Zambia or Nigeria, will receive a minimum of $12 million ( equivalent of N4.3 billion), and that amount will rise if they make it to the knockout rounds.
The preparation fee for the 32 qualified nations is expected to be in the region of $2 million while $10 million will be paid to the sixteen eliminated teams in the group stage.