Nigeria’s Super Eagles are looking to finish the business against Zambia and qualify for 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup, skipper John Obi Mikel has said.
The super eagles are top of qualifying group B on 10 points with two matches to go, victory against second-placed Chipolopolo (7 points) 7th October in Uyo will see them through.
It is against this backdrop that Mikel holds that they can wrap it up before the home crowd.
“It is the time we wrap this up,” the former Chelsea man proclaimed to the NFF portal.
Zambia had a slow start in the group losing and drawing their first two matches but have since bounced back with back to back wins against highly rated Algeria in their last two outings.
Mikel says they will take them seriously owing to the fine form, “I must admit that I applaud the resurgence of the Zambians this late in the qualifiers. Beating Algeria home and away is no mean feat. We will take them very seriously.”
Nigeria beat the Southern Africans 2-1 in the first leg played at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola.
They followed it with a 3-1 mauling of Algeria away before thumping neighbors Cameroon 3-0 at home and holding them 1-1 in the return leg.
Mikel attributes the Eagles’ near-perfect run to “professionalism, dedication, and determination.”
“Commendations must go to the entire team and the coach (Gernot Rohr), but we must finish it up in Uyo and secure our ticket there,” he added.
Chipolopolo manager Wedson Nyirenda is preparing for a mental battle against the five-time qualifiers.
“This game will be highly physiological, therefore we are working on their mental strength before the match,” Nyirenda said.
“Looking at the way we worked against Algeria home and away it tells a lot of stories. The boys now know and believe it can be done,”
“Nigeria is a different team…we are not going to be big headed because we beat Algeria we are focused on looking at Nigeria only,” he added.
The Chipolopolo will set up base in Ghana ahead of the crucial tie.
Home-based professionals will leave Accra Sunday and will be joined by their foreign-based counterparts before Wednesday departure to Nigeria.
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