The Super Eagles face Ghana on Wednesday.
The performance of some players in the home based Eagles squad at the ongoing African Nations Championships, CHAN, will further boost their chances of making it to the Brazil 2014 World Cup, Head Coach Stephen Keshi has said.
The Big Boss, who has continually praised the players for their performances at the competition, has hinted that as much as four players from the present squad will have the chance to make the Eagles team to Brazil.
“With a tournament like this, you get to see more potential that you can draft to the main team. As for me I am looking at three, four players from this pool to join in our preparation for the World Cup.” Keshi told PREMIUM TIMES in Cape Town.
Though the Eagles’ Head Coach did not mention the ‘lucky ones’ likely to get a look-in for the Brazil tournament, some players look to be in the lead to grab the slots.
Amongst the likely lucky four would be goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim who though has been inconsistent in his performances but nonetheless shows flashes of brilliance.
The experience of Agbim with the main Eagles for over two years gives him some sort of advantage. Knowing full well that other goal keepers are breathing down his neck, Agbim knows he has to improve his game or risk missing out on the chance of joining the duo of Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide who look almost certain for World Cup places safe for injuries.
Another almost sure pick will be Warri Wolves Azubieke Egwueke whose experience in the back line of the CHAN Eagles has come handy.
Though there is adequate room for improvement for the towering Egwueke, his commitment and zeal on the pitch looks good to put him for re-selection; as he has played for the main Super Eagles in the recent past.
Also, Nigeria’s man of the tournament at CHAN, Ejike Uzoenyi, is almost another sure bet from the lot to compete for World Cup places with the foreign pros.
The petit winger who has a knack for breath-taking goals has openly attracted commendation from Keshi for his performances. He won the man of the match in the three matches Nigeria has won at the competition.
While the first three players mentioned above are in a way already part of the main Eagles squad even as they were part of the AFCON 2013 winning team, some other players are equally waiting in the wings to break into the mainstay.
Upfront is the skilful Barnabas Imenger Jnr whose deft touches on the ball looks good enough to at least earn him a call-up even if he fails to make the final cut.
Also, the versatility of Kano Pillars’ Rabiu Ali, even if not well noticed in South Africa, still puts him in contention.
Others in contention for invitation to the World Cup preparation would be Ugonna Uzochukwu, Benjamin Francis and Solomon Kwambe.
The Super Eagles will tackle Ghana on Wednesday in the semi-final of the CHAN tournament in South Africa.