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Sports News of Saturday, 5 March 2022


W’Cup play-offs: Awaziem may replace Troost-Ekong for Ghana game

Alanyaspor defender Chidozie Awaziem Alanyaspor defender Chidozie Awaziem

Alanyaspor defender Chidozie Awaziem looks set to replace injured William Troost-Ekong in the Super Eagles squad to face Ghana in this month’s Qatar 2022 World Cup playoffs qualifier, Saturday PUNCH reports.

Nigeria take on Ghana on March 25 at the 20,000 –capacity Cape Coast Sports Stadium with the reverse leg billed for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on March 29.

Troost-Ekong was named in the Eagles 32-man squad list announced by coach Austin Eguavoen on Friday for the game against the Black Stars but faces a race to be fit for the game after Watford coach, Roy Hodgson, revealed that the Nigerian vice-captain will be out ‘for the foreseeable future.

The 28-year-old has been ruled out of the Hornets clash against Arsenal at the Vicarage Road on Sunday and may miss up to four weeks according to Hodgson.“It’s a muscle strain (for Ismaila Sarr), the same with Troost-Ekong,” Hodgson said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“It’s going to keep them both (Sarr and Troost-Ekong) out of the equation for the foreseeable future, but I don’t know how long exactly.“It’s not a minor thing, it’s not a knock, both have muscle strains, and that can take anything from a week to four weeks to recover from.”

Awaziem – a direct replacement for Troost Ekong is the only central defender listed on standby by  Eguavoen for the tie.