One of the biggest selection posers for the Flying Eagles in today’s U20 AFCON semifinal against Gambia is whether Abel Ogwuche will return to the bench after his Man-of-the-Match display against Uganda.
Last week, the Sweden-based central defender bagged the CAF Man of the Match Award after an outstanding performance for Nigeria to book their ticket to this year’s U20 World Cup in Indonesia.
He started against the Hippos of Uganda because captain Daniel Bameyi was suspended after he picked up his second booking of the tournament against Mozambique.
Bameyi will be available for selection tonight and he will be expected to return to the starting XI as he enjoys the full confidence of coach Ladan Bosso.
His partner in the heart of the defence Benjamin Frederick has been decent so far in Egypt to give Bosso more selection headache.
However, against the direct-playing and physical Baby Scorpions of Gambia, the Flying Eagles will need two hard-tackling centre backs.
One likely option would be for Frederick to move to right fullback, where Augustine Njoku has been far from convincing in Egypt.
This will therefore allow for Bameyi and Ogwuche to man the central defence and shield goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso, who has reclaimed the No 1 shirt ahead of Nathaniel Nwosu.
Bosso will also need to take a second look at Haliru Sarki on the right wing as well as Mohammed Aminu in midfield if he wants to get his team past unbeaten Gambia.
Sarki has not been effective and should give way to Olamilekan Adams to start at right wing, while Caleb Ochedikwu ought to be considered ahead of Aminu to add more solidity to the defensive midfield against a Gambian team, who unlike Uganda know how to score goals.
Gent striker Ahmed Abdullahi should also be the man to lead the attack ahead of Francis Ayuba, who has yet to justify his starting position.
Kick-off at the Cairo International Stadium is 6pm.
Leave a Reply