Nigeria;s football sworn enemies,Algeria have a plan to beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria.New Algeria coach Georges Leekens is looking to pick up maximum points against Nigeria in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier in Uyo on November 12 by hitting the Super Eagles on the counter-attack with quick, direct forward passes.
The 67-year-old Belgian, who replaced Serbian Milovan Rajevac as the Desert Foxes manager on Friday, is hoping to hit the ground running from the first game.
Leekens, who was sent packing recently by Belgian side Lokeren after losing eight out of 12 games this season, has reportedly settled for a 4-2-3-1 formation for the Uyo encounter.
The former Tunisia manager, who previously managed the Desert Foxes in 2003, is said to have opted for the formation, which has helped top managers such as Alex Ferguson, Jurgen Klopp, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho achieve success.
Leekens is apparently out to stop Nigeria’s young forwards Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi from replicating the stunning form they showed in the Eagles’ 2-1 defeat of Zambia in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Ndola on October 9. Manchester City’s Iheanacho and Arsenal’s Iwobi scored both goals in the Ndola victory. Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr on Saturday named both players in his 24-man squad for the Uyo encounter.
According to the highly influential Algerian outlet Le Buteur, Leekens has decided to approach the Nigeria clash with the system because he believes the Desert Foxes squandered their early lead to be held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cameroon in their opening Russia 2018 qualifier because the defence lacked support.
The former Belgium coach has moved to fix the defence ahead of the game against Nigeria to enable the team to earn full points, despite the attacking riches at Rohr’s disposal.
With the a 4-2-3-1 formation, Leekens is planning to play two players in front of his back four, with one of them breaking up any Nigerian attacks through Iheanacho and Iwobi, while the other send quick passes to Leicester City’s attacking duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani.
“The pressure does not scare me at all and I am motivated to succeed with the Greens. I can also say that I have a debt to the Algerian team,” Le Buteur quoted Leekens as saying on Sunday.
The outlet adds that the coach will play the tape of the match between Nigeria and Zambia from
Wednesday to Friday “to get an idea about them (Eagles)”.
He said, “This operation will begin on Wednesday and will last until Thursday evening or Friday since Leekens wants to prepare for the meeting of Nigeria, who will be his first opponents in his return to the Greens.”
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