Gernot Rohr promised on Friday that the Super Eagles team that will face England on Saturday would be as close to the ones that should start against Croatia on June 16.
Feelers from the camp indicate the 64-year-old German trainer has opted for Torino’s Joel Obi ahead of Oghenekaro Etebo, to replace the recuperating Wilfred Ndidi.
The Super Eagles starting XI will be Francis Uzoho in goal; Abdullahi Shehu at right back; William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun as the central defenders with Bryan Idowu completing the back four at left back.
In midfield the duo of Ogenyi Onazi and Joel Obi will be the ball winners with the captain, Mikel Obi, pulling the midfield strings slightly ahead. Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi will operate from the flanks as inverted wingers with Odion Ighalo leading the line.
With this set of players, Rohr is expected to deploy his team in a 4-2-1-2-1 formation with Mikel Obi given the ‘licence’ to roam and join the attack at every possible opportunity.
This team is expected to resist the ‘real test’ of the England team, captained by Tottenham’s Harry Kane. “It is a real test. The last match [against Congo DR] – we didn’t play with our best team. Tomorrow [Saturday] we will try to play with our best team,” Rohr revealed on Friday.
“And there will be one player who is not in the team because of injury but we will try to see tomorrow who gets the chance to start against Croatia – so for us it is a most important game, even more, important than Czechoslovakia, which we will play next week…this is a World Cup match for us.
“Full house, good atmosphere – this is a real test. For us, it is a very important game,” Rohr emphasised.
After Saturday’s encounter, the Eagles move to Austria, where they will play the Czech Republic on June 6 before moving to Russia.
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