Liberia Tie: Keshi Jittery Over Eagles' Fitness

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If there is anything that gives Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi cause for concern ahead of the crucial Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia on Saturday, it is the fitness level of his players in camp for the all-important cracker scheduled for the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

Keshi, who expressed concern on BrilaFM early today, said he is not scared of the ability of his players to win the make or mar encounter, but that his immediate concern is the current fitness level of some key players invited for the match.

He said: “I am not scared of the Liberians because the calibre of players we have in camp are more than capable of winning the match for us on Saturday. What I’m concerned about is the fitness of my players when you put into consideration that many of them are in the country for this match after playing for their respective teams abroad last weekend. The likes of Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa were involved in tough matches for their clubs, while Brown Ideye and Nosa Igiebor played in derby ties for their clubs in Russia and Spain respectively.”

The former Malian and Togolese national teams’ coach, however, opined that Eagles’ doctors (physiotherapist) are already working on all the invited players to ascertain that no players is hiding any injury, stressing that only players that are committed and fit would be selected to play against the Lone Star on Saturday.

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Meanwhile, despite the Liberia Football Association’s continued secrecy over the Lone Star’s arrival date for Saturday’s match, P.M.NEWS can report that the Liberian national team will arrive Lagos tomorrow enroute Calabar after both teams ended the first leg 2-2 in Monrovia on 8 September.

While announcing the travel plans of the Liberian team, Cellcom, which is sponsoring the Lone Star said it has chartered a 125-seater plane (Boeing 737) which will take the Liberian delegation, including the national team and LFA technical support staff, lucky winners of the Cellcom “Win-A-Trip” raffle and Cellcom employees, and other supporters, to the game in Nigeria.

The charter flight will depart Roberts International Airport tomorrow and return on Sunday, 14 October 14.

—Bamidele Olowosagba

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