Nigeria set for Moses return

2013-01-24 17:00

Nigeria will likely have the fit-again Victor Moses back in the team for their Group C 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash against Zambia at Mbombela Stadium tomorrow evening.

The Chelsea star forward has been nursing a hamstring strain, and was missed by the Super Eagles, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso in their tournament opener earlier in the week.

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi opted to rest Moses in the contest and to rather give the country’s new gem his Afcon debut when he is fully fit.

“Victor trained well on Tuesday, and we’re hopeful of what he can bring as an individual to the team,” Keshi said today.

“Before I can settle for my team, I need to do some final checks on who’s fit and who is not.”

Keshi is still trying to find a balance in a fairly young team looking at recapturing their former glory.

Only two players (captain Joseph Yobo and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama) have earned more than 50 international caps.

The West Africans were not entirely convincing against the Burkinabe in the first match.

Keshi, the former national captain, raised a concern about his team’s ability to maintain their shape.

The Super Eagles’ clumsy defence has also come under the spotlight, where they will miss suspended Efe Ambrose at centre-back against Chipolopolo and their next fixture against Ethiopia.

“The minute we get the balance, we’ll be good to go in this tournament,” said Keshi.

“We were good tactically in the first half against Burkina Faso but it fell away in the second half where we also lost concentration.

“In a game, you have to make sure that you concentrate for 95 minutes.”

The 51-year-old Keshi, nicknamed “Big Boss” in his illustrious playing career, admitted that there was always pressure to deliver the goods for your country.

“Nigeria has had glorious times in football and can’t blame the fans for the expectations,” he said.

“In our case, we (Nigerians) want to start today and win. Everyone will also want to tell you who to play, who not to play, so it’s not that easy.”

Afcon team profiles: Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria

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