W/Cup Playoff: Fear Grips Eguavoen Over Injury To Key Defenders

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Super Eagles technical adviser, Austin Eguavoen, is said to be uncomfortable with injury to some key members, especially the backline ahead of the crunch 2022 World Cup qualifiers playoff with the Black Stars of Ghana.

The coach is also said not comfortable that many of the defenders are not getting regular playing time in their respective teams.

Nigeria will take on Ghana in a two-legged playoff on March 24 in Ghana and three days later in Nigeria to determine the country that will make it to the World Cup in Qatar.

Eguavoen, according to the report, is unhappy with the lack of playing time his defenders are currently facing at their clubsides.

His fear is that it could see them lose sharpness before the Ghana tie, which is also instrumental to the stay of the coach at the helm of the team. For now, only Kenneth Omeruo and Semi Ajayi are enjoying regular run of games since after the Africa Cup of Nations.

At Scottish side, Rangers, Leon Balogun has been battling with injuries and fitness and it has limited his game time to just one full senior game since January. Ironically, Calvin Bassey, a one-time Super Eagles invitee, has been deputizing brilliantly in his absence.

Worst of all is defender Chidozie Awaziem, who has only played one out of five for his club since his return from AFCON. At Watford, new coach, Roy Hodgson, has frozen out William Troost Ekong. He hasn’t played a single minute since the coach took over

Ola Aina is also not faring any better at Italian Serie A side, Torino, with no game since his return from AFCON. Jamilu Collins, at second division German side, Paderborn, has only played once and that came over the weekend.

Tyrone Ebuehi is currently out injured but shouldn’t be much of a problem as Shehu Abdullahi has returned to full fitness, playing in all of the last three matches for Omonia Nicosa. Zaidu Sanusi has also been ever present for FC Porto this season.