Nigeria, Argentina At War Again


Nigeria’s Super Eagles this afternoon take on the Argentina national team in a cracker which promises to be a battle for supremacy rather than an international friendly tie.

After a scandalous 4-1 victory over the Argies at the Abuja National Stadium on 1 June, Argentina believe a rematch at a neutral ground will give them the opportunity of a revenging the disgrace.

That’s why new coach, Alejandro Sabella plays today’s tie with a full strength side that include the likes of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Diego Milito.

Other Argie stars expected to feature are goalkeepers, Sergio Romero and Mariano Andujar as well as Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolas Burdisso, Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Mascherano and Javier Pastore.

The Nigerian team will, however, prosecute the match without some of their established players who are nursing injuries. West Brom striker, Osaze Odemwingie, AC Milan’s Taye Taiwo, Everton’s Victor Anichebe, Rubin Karzan’s Obafemi Martins, England-based Danny Shittu are out of this tie which was ongoing as at press time. The trio of Kalu Uche, Vincent Enyeama and captain Joseph Yobo are also not part of the team playing the Messi-inspired Argie team.

The Eagles go into this rematch after defeating unfancied Barea of Madagascar 2-0 at Antananarivo on Sunday in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. This victory will give Eagles enough confidence to challenge Argentina in a match, which tickets has already been sold out in Dakha.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper, Dele Aiyenugba has admitted that he is ‘worried’ about the prospect of coming face to face with Messi, but remains confident that he will do more than a capable job.

“As a goalkeeper you have to be worried. He is the best player in the world and everybody here in Bangladesh have come to watch Messi.

“Of course I am a little bit worried, but I have confidence in myself and that worry will help me to focus,” he said.

“The most important thing for me is to watch the ball and be on my toes because he is a very unique player and he can do something unexpected at any time.”

Aiyenugba has been deputising for Enyeama since joining the international set up, but says he is always on the sharp end of his fitness

“I am always ready. I always prepare and work hard because I know I can be called upon at any time. Vincent is a great goalkeeper. We have been together since our days at Enyimba and we are like brothers. But I push him all the time so that he knows there is competition.”

Nigeria are missing key players like captain Joseph Yobo, first choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and will be starting with just two of their usual starting back five.

Aiyenugba says the team wants to win for them

“We are missing Yobo, Vincent and others and the only thing we can do to make them happy is to play a good game and win.”

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