W/Cup Qualifier : Beware!, Algeria Coming To Attack, Ex-Int’l Warns S’Eagles …As Osinbajo visits Super Eagles

One of Algeria’s danger men (10) on the ball against Cameroon in their last game

Nigeria World Cup star Garba Lawal has predicted that his former coach at Roda JC, Georges Leekens will lead Algeria to attack the Super Eagles in Saturday’s decisive World Cup qualifier.
Garba played for a season under Belgian coach Leekens and he specially revealed his former coach is a winner and he will aim to upstage Nigeria in Uyo.
“Leekens is an attacking coach, who wants the players to enjoy playing as a team, be smart in their head, attack and defend with caution,” opened up Garba, who is on the NFF technical committee.
“He wants to win every game and likes to give his players confidence.
“He will likely play with two defensive midfielders, play a smart counter attack as he has fast players in (Sofiane) Feghouli and (Islam) Slimani.”
‘Chindo’ as Lawal is called, recounted how Leekens out-thought mighty AC Milan in a European Cup winners Cup game in the 2002/03 season.
“We lost the first leg 1-0 at home, but we then won 1-0 inside the San Siro before we lost out on penalties,” he remembered.
He also stressed that Nigeria’s goalkeeper and defence will have to be at their best to stop an attack that parades the mercurial Riyad Mahrez among others.
“The Eagles back four must be concentrated throughout the 90 minutes. Several defensive mistakes we saw in Zambia went unpunished, but you cannot afford it against the stars of Algeria. If you do that, you are finished,” he warned.
“We must have a solid defence and cannot even try any zonal marking in the final third.
“And the goalkeeper will play a key role to keep out the Algerians.”
Garba featured for Esperance of Tunisia before he moved to Europe and he also expects that fellow North Africans Algeria will come out in the first 15 minutes of action as well as the last 15 minutes of the game.
After all said and done, he said he hopes for a Nigerian victory on Saturday.
“It won’t be easy, it will be difficult game. Algeria won’t be the ones under pressure even though they drew with a top team like Cameroon, not a team like Zambia,” the versatile midfield work horse previewed.
“But I want Nigeria to win, no matter the score line, what is most important at this point in time are the three points.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday paid a surprise visit to the country’s senior national football teams, Super Eagles and Super Falcons, at their respective training sessions at the National Stadium, Abuja.
While the Super Falcons are preparing for the 10th Women Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon from November 19 to December 3, the Super Eagles are getting set for Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria.
The Vice President arrived the practice pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja, at about 5.30 p.m., as the teams were rounding off evening sessions.
To the Super Eagles, Vice President Osinbajo said: “I commend you for your patriotism and commitment to the cause of fatherland. By going to Zambia to defeat the Zambians on their own ground for the first time, you have shown your determination to conquer your group and qualify for the World Cup.
“I want to assure you that the Government and people of Nigeria are behind you in your quest to qualify for the World Cup. I believe that you will certainly pick the ticket from your group to make it to the World Cup finals.”
While Sports Minister Solomon Dalung presented the Super Eagles to the Vice President as a bunch of disciplined and dedicated patriots, NFF President Amaju Pinnick assured Mr. Osinbajo that the Eagles will fight hard to qualify for the World Cup. Skipper Mikel John Obi praised Vice President Osinbajo for finding time to spur the team, saying Nigeria has one of the youngest national teams in Africa presently. Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr declared that as a German, he has brought the German mentality of resilience and perseverance to the team’s camp.
To the Super Falcons, Osinbajo said: “I am happy that you girls are the reigning African champions, and I believe you will go to Cameroon and retain your trophy. The whole nation is behind you. You must start by beating Mali and then going all the way so as to bring the Cup back to Nigeria.”
Captain Evelyn Nwabuoku thanked the Vice President and promised that the Falcons are committed to retaining their continental title.