World cup 2018: Time for the Super Eagles to fly, Three Lions to roar

World cup 2018: Time for the Super Eagles to fly, Three Lions to roar
Super Eagles getting ready for Russia 2018

International break is here, one we dread so much and more so, it’s a world cup year, the summer is almost here, any injury can be costly; no footballer likes to miss the world cup, if your country tries hard to qualify, it’s down to you to stay fit, relevant and available for selection, boys would be cautious while trying to impress, while tough tackling midfielders launch out attacks to catch the fancy of managers, attackers would nimbly avoid such, training heroes don’t make news, those that get to show what they can do before paid audience are the ones on the front pages of the dailies.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on Poland in an international friendly to size each other up ahead of the summer world cup, Nigeria will square up against Iceland and Croatia, which makes the Poland friendly a necessity while the Robert Lewandowski led side will also look to use the Super Eagles to evaluate the Terenga Lions of Senegal; How will the Super Eagles line up at the World Cup in Russia?

The goalkeeping department is still a challenge but Daniel Akpeyi who surrendered to a bloody howler against Argentina in the October 2017 friendly should start, three or four at the back? Gernot Rhor would decide, but Brian Idowu shone brightly in the win over Argentina and should be considered to start alongside the tested duo of Troost Ekong and Leon Balogun.

Whatever happens, John Mikel Obi will start in midfield, who partners him is the question, Rhor has array of options up front, Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa all have voices to put in, young, mobile and vibrant, it’s time for the boys to fly.

Evaluating England hopes

Gareth Southgate and the three lions
Gareth Southgate has so many headaches with the men available to him for selection for the friendly against the Netherlands on Friday and by extension the coming world cup. Joe Hart has been in horrendous form, shipping three against Burnley having been recalled for the first time in like forever, Hart has been the number one for a while but experience won’t count much as the former Manchester City stopper has lost the finesse that made him the best in the land, Everton’s Jordan Pickford has been tipped as the heir to the throne but the poor defence of the Toffees has badly exposed the former Sunderland keeper, Jack Butland is up next on the list, good as he may be, the state of things at Stoke explains why he can’t be up on the ladder, but before you lose hopes, step forward Nick Pope, Burnley goalkeeper who was handed the waters of the premier league to step feet into when first choice Heaton got injured, the 25year old safe hands has only let in 26 goals in thirty games, sensational return for a rookie, experience might count against him, but if it’s on merit, Pope should be in goal against the Netherlands.

Jack Wilshere is back on top but is he ready for a starting role for England? Maybe not considering the available options, with his contract up in the summer at Arsenal, he needs to prove himself to earn a renewal or catch the eyes of suitors; Jordan Henderson will pass himself into the team, of Gareth Southgate sees Alex Oxlade Chamberlain as a central midfielder, he certainly should be deployed alongside Eric Dier in a three man midfield, with Harry Kane injured, Jamie Vardy should start ahead of Danny Welbeck, but Marcus Rashford should be considered on the left where he gets to cut in to the right and unleash a scorcher like he did in the league against Liverpool, and of course Dele Alli is expected to complete the eleven. Good luck three lions at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

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