Nigeria v Zambia update: How Gernot Rohr will pick his players for the game

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Gernot Rohr
Super
Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has explained how he will pick
his
team for the game against
Zambia on Saturday.

Rohr
had earlier said he already had an idea of those he expects to start
on Saturday but on Thursday went on to list what he will be looking
out for in the players he will pick.

The
German went on to list pointers that will determine his team for
Saturday.

First
it is fitness.
I mean physical fitness and after that we will look at what happened
in the last games they played for their clubs.

We
have out scouting team that reports
so we try to find the best,” Rohr continued.

Technical
quality is another and then tactical understanding and mental
strength.

You
must be cool in the head, not like Brazil against Germany in the
World Cup semi final,” Rohr added.

Finally,
there there must not be too much of emotion, but I am happy to have a
choice to make.

We
are ready. We train very well. We will wait until the last session to
make our team. I think it will be a great game. Not only because it
is decisive game but because it is two teams that play very good
football. Two teams with different styles. We found in the game
against Cameroon, a style and we try to do it in this type of game
but we know it will be difficult against Zambia because they saw our
game, they know us so we must try to surprise them.

It
will be more difficult to do it against Zambia because they know us.
It will be more dangerous.”

Nigeria’s
first game of the qualifiers was against Zambia with the Eagles
winning 2-1 but Rohr insists the team they beat last year is not the
same as the current one.

Of
course it is one year but the situation today is a good one for us.
We have ten points and they have seven. We have plus seven and they
have plus three.

If
we win, we are through but they have to win and we want to win. The
Zambia team of one year ago is not the same now, they have changed a
lot. They have a team of young players who are coming in from U20 who
won the AFCON and got to the quarter final of the World Cup.

The
Cameroon win was good for confidence. Now it is different because it
is not Cameroon. They have a different kind of play so we must be
able to adapt our play to these opponents.”

Gernot
Rohr also highlights the importance of focus on the part of the
players before and during the game.

We
are so close to Russia but everybody understands it is not the moment
to lose concentration so every body is aware of the situation.

We
know that it is in our hands now. When we won in Zambia I was told
that Nigeria never won there.

We
are in the reality now and we can go to Russia if we win this game.
If we draw, we can also go there. But nothing is done for the moment.
I have been in Nigeria since two weeks. Zambia has another team, a
very good team. Let us be careful and concentrate on the game coming.
A big work most be done to beat them. We are monitoring the game they
won against Algeria. We will be very careful.”

The
Super Eagles will be going into the game completely injury free as
Rohr confirmed that all twenty two players are fit.

I
am happy to have choices to make. We have fair competition among the
players. Simon can start, Alex can start. What is important is that
the competition is fair. Somebody can start and the other one can
finish. We need Alex, we need Simon, we need all the twenty two
players. I like the spirit in this team. We have no problems.

The
most important thing is to win the game. The lessons we learned from
the South African game we showed it against Cameroon so that answers
itself.

We
have more experienced players in the team now and each game is
different and we know it will be more difficult than the Cameroon
game. I have a little of my starting lineup in my heart but we have
two more training sessions before the game.”

When both sides met on October
9, 2016 in Ndola, Nigeria won 2-1, their first ever win on Zambian
soil.

A win for Nigeria guarantees
automatic qualification for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

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