Kenya have been keeping tabs on the developments in the Super Eagles ahead of their Group F World Cup qualifier against Nigeria in Nairobi on June 5, it has been revealed.
The Harambee Stars, who held the Eagles to a surprise 1-1 draw in the first leg encounter in Calabar on March 23, are desperate for victory in the game to reignite their chances of reaching the last round of the World Cup qualifiers.
And Nigeria, who are tied on five points in the table with Malawi, will have a mountain to climb qualifying for the world showpiece in Brazil next year if they drop points against the Kenyans, who are last in the table with two points. Namibia, who take on Malawi in the other group fixture, are third with three points.
Reports during the week said the Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche has been monitoring the performances of Nigeria players in Europe and the Nigeria Football Federation’s plans for the Eagles ahead of the encounter.
Assistant coach James Nandwa confirmed that Amrouche had been focusing on Nigeria’s preparation for the game.
“We are aware of the changes they have made in the squad,”Nandwa was quoted by the Kenyan media a saying during the week.
“We know that they will train outside Nigeria, probably in Europe because the bulk of their players are professionals based in Europe. From there, they will fly directly to Nairobi.”
Meanwhile, the Harambee Stars have been hit by a wave of injuries ahead of the clash.
Amrouche has been forced to drop injured Tusker FC striker Ismail Dunga, George Owino (Sofapaka), David Mwaura (Mathare United) and David Kingatua of Thika United.
The East Africans will face Nigeria without star striker David Oliech and first-choice goalkeeper Arnold Origi. The duo will miss the crucial game after accumulating two yellow cards each in the qualifiers.