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Strikers’ War Looms In Super Eagles

Hints that Super Eagles’ coach, Sunday Oliseh, could be in a dilemma picking his starting team emerged on Thursday with Tunde Adeniji, the leading scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), expressing determination to be the led striker when Nigeria play away to Tanzania next weekend in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier. Foreign-based players have always dominated the Nigeria national team, with the top string role in particular being their exclusive preserve.

But Adeniji, who plays for Sunshine Stars in the NPFL, vowed to give the foreign-based Eagles strikers like AL Ain’s Emmanuel Emenike and Werder Bremen’s Anthony Ujah a run for a place in Oliseh’s final squad for the AFCON qualifier in Dar es Salam. Adeniji, who has netted 13 goals so far in the domestic league, maintained that if given the chance, he is confident he will pin down a shirt in the current Eagles squad. “I am not afraid of the competition.

I know that if am given the opportunity, I can win a shirt in the squad,” Adeniji declared. “This is football and I have confidence in my ability, but the first   thing for me is to make sure I meet what the coach expects from us. As for me I will continue to give my best to make the final squad.” Oliseh had invited 18 players from clubs in the NPFL to start the build-up to the September 5 clash with Tanzania. Five players to be selected from among the 18 home-based players will join another 18 invited from foreign clubs for the trip to Dar es Salam.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles’ preparation for the Nations Cup qualifier has received with a report that fit-again Emenike will be back to action for Al Ain against Al Jazirah in a UAE league match on Friday (today). The Al Ain striker is one of the 18 foreign pros called up by Oliseh for the game against Tanzania.

Al Ain coach Zlako Dalic said Emenike, who had a muscle pain, which kept him out of the club’s league opener, will see action today. “We will play Emenike in Friday’s game for 45 minutes because he did not participate in the team’s training for some days thus he has not attained the required level of readiness that will enable him play a full game, and after the game, he will be release to join his national team,” Dalic announced.

-Oladipo Okubanjo

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