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Sports News of Saturday, 19 March 2022


Injury scare for Nigeria ahead Ghana showdown

Super Eagles Super Eagles

With just one week to the first leg of the 2022 World Cup playoff showdown with Ghana, there has been so much noise about the encounter.

While Nigeria have unveiled their squad, Ghana are yet to do so.

The match venue has also been a major talking point.

Nigeria may have reasons to worry ahead of the tie with Ghana following injuries to midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and defender Kenneth Omeruo. Ndidi was taken off the pitch in his side’s loss to Rennes in a Europa Conference League tie on Thursday.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers in a post-game interview said the injury was disappointing but it is unclear when he would recover.

His compatriot has not played for Leganes in the last four league games following a groin injury but is expected to make a return this Sunday. The 28-year-old was a mainstay in the heart of Nigeria’s defence at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations earlier in the year.

Nigeria will now play the waiting game to know if the duo will be fit for the double-legged tie.

Amuneke backs Okoye

And ahead of the clash, Super Eagles chief coach Emmanuel Amuneke has backed Maduka Okoye to retain his place in the team.

The youngster came under fire following his performance at the AFCON, especially in the game against Tunisia where the three-time African champions slumped to a shocking defeat.

Amuneke told Brila FM that the German-born goalkeeper may have made a mistake but believes it is not enough to sideline him.

Venue changed, Ghana squad awaited

Nigeria’s foes Ghana are yet to announce their squad for the double-legged tie. Earlier in the week, Ghanaian football authorities confirmed that the venue for the first leg of the encounter has been changed.

A Ghana Football Association (GFA) statement said the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi will now host the playoff.

The approval came after a CAF inspection.