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Drogba warns team-mates about Mikel

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By Adebobola Alawode

Skipper of the Ivorian Elephants has warned his teammates that Chelsea FC of England and Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder, Mikel Obi, could be dangerous when both teams tango in the quarter-final of the ongoing South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.

The Eagles confront Ivory Coast Sunday in a tie dubbed ‘Titanic Battle’ at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. Drogba feels his former mate at Chelsea could scuttle their ambition of booking a semi-final passage if care is not taken.

Drogba, who inspired Chelsea to a UEFA Champions League triumph last season, said on Brila F.M. early today that having played alongside Mikel in the English Premier League at Stamford Bridge, he feels the Nigerian midfield maestro has what it takes to cut his team to size notwithstanding Mikel’s performance in the last three matches he played so far.

The former African Footballer of the Year noted that Mikel’s combative prowess helped Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League trophy, adding that he sees the Nigerian star as a possible threat on Sunday.

“I would exchange pleasantries with Mikel before the match but during the game we won’t be friends anymore because he is a good marker of the ball. He is the best Nigerian player and I know if care is not taken he could ruin us on Sunday,” said Drogba, who just signed a deal with Turkish team, Galatasaray.

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Speaking in the same vein, another former teammate of Mikel at Chelsea, Ivorian Salomon Kalou said that he is determined to see his country outshine Mikel’s team in the quarter final tie.

According to Kalou, “I always like to score against Mikel. That’s my best bet when we play against Nigeria,” said Kalou, who scored the match winner when the Elephants piped the Eagles 1-0 in a group game at the 2008 tournament in Ghana.

“Nigeria have great players who can make a difference. We played them in 2008 and we beat them but it was a very difficult game. They have a quality team. We respect them, but we have a goal, that is to win the cup.”

Meanwhile, Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi said his team are not scared of Ivory Coast. “I don’t know why everybody is talking about them, but football is a 50-50 game and it’s eleven against eleven.

“So, we hope to do what we need to do to emerge victorious,’’ Keshi told News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

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