Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr is staying cagey over the improvements he will give his squad for Friday’s win-or-bust second group match against Iceland, as the Franco-German tactician is reluctant to make sweeping changes.
Eagles’ camp insiders revealed that, while Rohr admits he will need to rejig his side with the introduction of some players who did not start against Croatia, and probably switch tactics, the gaffer is staying cautious about his decisions.
Nonetheless, credible sources say Rohr will drop Odion Jude Ighalo for Kelechi Iheanacho at the head of the Eagles’ attack on Friday.
Iheanacho replaced Ighalo in the 75th minute of the loss to Croatia and Rohr is said to have been impressed with the 21-year-old Leicester City star’s contribution.
The coach has now worked more with Iheanacho during the team’s training, a pointer to a strong hint that the former Manchester City forward would lead the line against Iceland.
Arsenal attacker, Alex Iwobi, who was poor on the left side of attack against Croatia, will likely feature as playmaker behind Iheanacho – a combination that worked in the friendly match against Argentina last November which the Eagles won 4-2.
Iheanacho, Tyronne Ebuehi and Ahmed Musa are strong contenders to start on Friday with Odion Ighalo, Shehu Abdullahi and Iwobi expected to be dropped for the game, where a defeat will end Nigeria’s campaign at the World Cup.
The need to inject pace and urgency in the attack of the Eagles is largely the reason why Musa will start in attack with Victor Moses moving to the left flank as they aim to stretch the defence of Iceland with pace and dribbles.
Ebuehi who is very adept at overlapping from his right full back spot is also in the mix to start ahead of Abdullahi as Rohr eyes more bodies upfront especially as Iceland are expected to be lined up in a defensive way.
Furthermore, team captain, John Mikel Obi will not be dropped but will play in central midfield role alongside Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi.
Another source affirmed: “Rohr may also drop right back Shehu Abdullahi; he did not impress with his performance and Tyronne Ebuehi will likely return to the starting line-up.
“He wants to see how these players would react to his formation for the game during training before he makes his final decision.”