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World Cup playoff: Babaginda predicts tough task for Eguavoen against Ghana

Former Nigeria international Tijani Babaginda has predicted a tough task for interim coach Austine Eguavoen ahead of the team’s 2022 World Cup qualifying tie against Ghana in March.

The Super Eagles will face the Black Stars in a two-legged affair, the first meeting set for Cape Coast Sports Stadium on March 25 and the return leg planned for Moshood Abiola National Stadium on March 29.

Ahead of the fixture, Nigeria strikers Victor Osimhen, who turns out for Serie A giants Napoli, Odion Ighalo, who features for Saudi club Al Hilal, and Umar Sadid of Spanish club UD Almeria in Segunda Division, are in great form, scoring goals regularly.

Osimhen was the hero for Napoli as he came off the bench to score and salvage a draw for the Partenopei against Cagliari in a Serie A fixture at Sardegna Arena on Monday while Ighalo was also on target as Hilal defeated Al Nassr 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the King Cup of Champions.

Meanwhile, Sadiq grabbed a second-half brace to help Almeria defeat Mirandes in a Segunda Division fixture on Sunday.

The 48-year-old Babangida, who managed 36 appearances for the Super Eagles and scored five goals, believes Eguavoen and his technical staff will face a tough selection headache to pick their starting strikers in the game against Black Stars.

“There is no doubt that the current strikers in the Super Eagles are not doing badly in Europe,” Babangida said as quoted by Completesports.

“The likes of Osimhen, Ighalo, Sadiq, and others are banging the goals for their respective clubs and it’s a sign of good things to come for the team.

“Again, this will definitely give Eguavoen a serious headache in terms of who to select for the game against Ghana. If he gets the right strikers to start then the team will pick the ticket for Qatar.”

Against Ghana, Nigeria are targeting a fourth successive berth at the World Cup after featuring in 2010, 2014, and 2018. The Super Eagles will also be keen to appease their fans after they failed to make it past the Round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

While Ghana had a miserable campaign that saw them exit the 33rd edition in the group stage, Nigeria lost 1-0 against Tunisia in the knockout stage.

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