Eagles coach not afraid of Modric, Rakitic, other Croatia players


The manner in which Nigeria will approach Saturday’s game against Croatia at the Russia 2018 World Cup has been suggested by coach of the Nigerian team Gernot Rohr.
Rohr had his first press conference at the World Cup ahead of Nigeria’s opening group D game and he gave a hint on how they will tackle the Croatians who are expected to line up global midfield super stars in Luka Modric, Mateo Kovavic and Ivan Rakitic in midfield.
Croatia are also expected to field Mario Mandzukic in attack alongside Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric or Nikola Kalinic but despite the star-studded nature of the Croatian squad, Rohr is optimistic that Nigeria will give a good account of themselves in the game.
“We admire this team, but, we do not plan to watch them when we play against them, we hope to fight. They are all wonderful players playing in biggest teams in Europe”, Rohr said.
“On paper with their names, the Croats are much better than us, but, sometimes on the pitch, it could be different. We don’t have their big stars, but, we try to play collectively with our young team”.
Meanwhile Nigeria striker OdionIghalo has [promised that the country will do well when hostilities commence in Russia.
He said Eagles have been working tirelessly in unity to live up to the World Cup expectations of many Nigerians.
The former Watford striker is expected to lead the line for Nigeria when they take on Croatia in Kaliningrad and admitted the team is drawn against tough Group D opponents.
“We know what is at stake and we won’t disappoint, that’s just all I can say,” Ighalo said. Adding that, “The group is tough but we know what we must do to advance without pressure.”
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will hold their final training session in Essentuki on Wednesday before departing for Kaliningrad on Thursday for their opening game on Saturday.
Nigeria are making their sixth appearance at the global tournament and their second match is against Iceland in Volvograd, followed by their final group game against Argentina in Saint Petersburg.
Ebuehi picked as first choice right full back
The battle for the right full back spot of the Super Eagles of Nigeria appears to have been won by Dutch-Nigerian ace TyronneEbuehi who recently signed for Portuguese giants Benfica.
Shehu Abdullahi was the undisputed first choice at right back for the Nigerian team with many even suggesting him as a long-term solution to the position which has been problematic for the Nigerian team.
Ebuehi announced himself with a strong display in the second half of Nigeria’s 4-2 friendly win over Argentina in November and since then he has impressed whenever he is called upon to play.
Yesterday’s session he started among the possible for the Saturday opening game against Croatia and today during the press conference of the Super Eagles, coach Gernot Rohr suggested that his return to full fitness might see him start.
He had nose bleeding yesterday but Rohr confirmed that he is now fully okay and ready to play if called upon and the coach also confirmed that all his players are fit and ready for the tie.
“He’s fit and there are no injury problems in the team. He is ready to play against Croatia”, confirmed Rohr.
Eagles will however today flyi to Kaliningrad for their first match of the competition on Saturday at the 35,000 –capacity Kaliningrad Arena. Departure from Kaliningrad is set for 4pm Russia time.


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