Eagles Face Elephants Test

NIGERIA’S Super Eagles will go up against the 2015 Afcon-bound Elephants of Ivory Coast in an international friendly at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.The match is live on SuperSport 4 from 5.55pm CAT (4.55pm Nigerian time).
The African champions, Nigeria, will present a team of players from their top flight except for Swiss-based Steven Ukoh following the disappointment of failing to qualify for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria are without their stellar names like Vincent Enyeama, Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, Ogenyi Onazi and John Obi Mikel, among others, since they are not taking part in the Afcon.Stand-in coach, Daniel Amokachi, now has to pick from a pool of 20 players including last season’s NPFL leading scorer, Mfon Udoh as well as Ukoh who joined up with the team in Abu Dhabi on Friday as he looks to feature in his first international match for Nigeria since switching allegiance from Switzerland.
However, the Nigerian team will come up against a very experienced Ivorian side with four-time African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure, Cheick Tiote, Wilfried Bony, Gervinho, Salomon Kalou and Kolo Toure.Amokachi, who is filling in for out-of-contract Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi, acknowledged that facing some of the golden generation of Ivory Coast is a good test for the NPFL stars.“This is a good test for the boys. We have told them what to do and not be intimidated by the fact that they will face some of Africa’s best players,” Amokachi said.
The last time the two teams clashed in an international match was at the 2013 Afcon during the quarterfinal stage in South Africa.The Ivorians had been widely tipped to progress into the last four but Nigeria shocked them with a 2-1 win.But this time, the make-up of the Nigerian squad is different from that which had Emmanuel Emenike, Sunday Mba, Musa, Enyeama, Mikel, Onazi and Brown Ideye.With those notable absentees, the Ivorians are definitely favourites on paper to win though they will be cautious of the fact that any Nigerian team are capable of a shock result.
The SquadsFrom Ivory Coast – Goalkeepers: 1-Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), 16-Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), 23-Sayouba Mande (Staebek)
Defenders: 13-Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), 17-Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), 21-Eric Bertrand Bailly (Espanyol), 22-Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag), 5-Siaka Tiene (Montpellier HSC), 4-Kolo Toure (Liverpool), 2-Ousmane Viera (Rizespor)
Midfielders: 3-Roger Assale (Sewe Sport), 20-Serey Die (Basle), 14-Ismael Diomande (St Etienne), 6-Cheick Doukoure (Metz), 15-Max Gradel (St Etienne), 9-Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), 19-Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Forwards: 12-Wilfried Bony (Swansea City), 7-Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), 10-Gervinho (Roma), 8-Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin), 11-Junior Tallo (Bastia), 18-Lacina Traore (Monaco)
From Nigeria – Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves), Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars)
Defenders: Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Idris Aloma (El-Kanemi Warriors); Chima Akas (Sharks), Nelson Ogbonnaya (Heartland), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Bright Esieme (Enyimba), Godspower Igudia (Akwa United)
Midfielders: Joseph Nathaniel (Sharks), Charles Henlong (Giwa FC), Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves), Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars), Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba)
Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba), Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves), Gambo Muhammad (Kano Pillars), Christian Obiozor (Enugu Rangers), Steven Ukoh (FC Biel-Bienne)