The Super Eagles have an immediate task to justify their rise to 31st position in the global football rankings released this week by world soccer governing body, FIFA, when the Nigerian side battle Sierra Leone in their next two matches of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, megasportsarena.com reports.
The matches in March will hold barely three weeks after the latest rankings took Nigeria up by four rungs on the table of the global ratings and the Eagles are still listed as the third best team in Africa, which makes observers believe they can beat The Leone Stars home and way in the coming month.
The Eagles will be up against one of Africa’s lowly placed sides in next month’s games, as they resume the race to Cameroon 2021, with Senegal’s Teranga Lions still ranked as the best in the continent and 20th in the world, while Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles moved up two spots to 27th.
African champion, Algeria also improved in the latest ranking, up three spots to 35th position in the world, but Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr refused to accept that his side will have an easy ride over the men from Freetown, despite hinting that he could call-up some new players.
Senegal remain best on the continent and Morocco (who are now 43rd in the world) complete the top five in Africa, but Rohr acknowledged that no other team from the continent should be underrated, hence his decision to include all his regular players in his plans for next month’s home and away fixtures against Sierra Leone.
While disclosing that he is already working on the list, which he affirmed should be made public in the first week of March, Rohr said he could decide to invitee new players not because Sierra Leone are rated low, but because he wants to try out some varying options in the squad, even as he hopes that his players will avoid any fresh injuries in action with their clubs.
Rohr told AOIFootball.com: “There will probably be one or two new players for our next list because it is the moment to see other new options but we have to wait a little bit to know how many players we can invite because of the injury. The list will be done beginning of March like usually three weeks before our game so I hope we will not have any fresh injury worries.”