The Super Eagles of Nigeria will on Friday begin their quest for a place in the FIFA 2018 World Cup to be hosted in Russia.
They will take on Southern Africa opponents, Swaziland, in Lobamba.
Coach Sunday Oliseh’s team departed the Nnamdi Azkiwe international airport Abuja on Thursday for their qualifiers against the Sihlangu Semnikati boys with high hopes.
For many, it should not be business as usual as they expect the Super Eagles to rain goals in Swaziland.
PREMIUM TIMES takes a look at three Super Eagles forwards that are expected to make the difference in the pitch on Friday.
Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Super Eagles Team captain, Ahmed Musa, plays his professional football in CSKA Moscow, Russia.
The attacking winger who initially was on the shortlist of players for the African Footballer of the Year has put up impressive display for his club both in domestic and international scene this season.
The 23-year-old Nigerian international has had a rich form for his club in all competition this season.
He has so far scored six goals in 20 appearance for the Muscovites in the UEFA Champions league.
Musa believes that his side are 100 percent ready to take on their fellow African counterparts on Friday.
“All the players here are one hundred percent ready for the game on Friday.
“By the grace of God, we are going over there to win because we know the importance of the World Cup.
“The World Cup is the highest level any footballer can aspire for and we all want that,” he said.
Musa has previously won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nation edition hosted in South Africa; he also featured in the 2014 World cup held in Brazil. Musa has 54caps for Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England)
Nigeria international, Odion Ighalo, has continued to wax stronger at his English Premier League Watford.
The 26-year-old, who is in the strong 24-man squad called up by the super eagles coach Sunday Oliseh for the world cup qualifiers against Swaziland, is sure a man to watch.
Ighalo is presently ahead of world class strikers like Manchester City’ Sergio Augero to become the top scorer in English football 2015, the good form of the Nigerian has also seen him been nominated as the EPL player of the month. For many, Ighalo is the firm favourite striker to lead the quest for goals against the Sihlangu Semnikati of Swaziland.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City England)
Manchester city starlet Kelechi Iheanacho is looking like the joker in Coach Sunday Oliseh’s team at the moment.
The 19-year-old has expressed happiness about his call-up into the senior national team owing to his recent performances for Manchester City this season and he has pointed out that he is keen to hit the ground running with the Eagles.
“I am happy to be with the (Super Eagles) and the players who are based in Europe.
“I play with experienced players at Manchester City so there will be no shyness and I will not feel that I am playing alongside players that are more experienced than me.
“I am full of confidence and I am sure I can add something to this team,” he said.
Iheanacho, who has so far scored two goals for City and has churned out a Man-of-the-match display this season, is rated as one of the top youngsters in the EPL.
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