Exclusive: Nigeria Starting XI

NFF News
 NFF at a glance
Founded 1945
FIFA Affiliation Since 1960
President Sani Lulu Abdullahi
1st Vice President Amanze Uchegbulam
2nd Vice President Oyuki Obaseki
General Secretary Bolaji Ojo-Oba

FIFA World Cup appearances
3 (1994, 1998, 2002)

Continental titles
CAN (1980, 1994)
CAN (1984, 1988, 1990, 2000)

Best Results
FIFA U-17 World Cup Final (1985, 1993, 2007), Olympic Football Tournament Final (1996)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Final (1987, 2001, 2009), FIFA U-20 World Cup Final (1989, 2005), Olympic Football Tournament Final (2008)

Nigeria coach, Shuaibu Amodu, has picked a very experienced starting XI for Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations Group C titanic clash against defending champions Egypt here in Benguela.

The winner of this clash between the top contenders in this group will most certainly enjoy a head-start, and as such Amodu is leaving nothing to chance to ensure his Eagles fly high under the high sun of Benguela, an Angolan town of about 700,000 people who are proud of the bananas they produce and their great beaches facing the sea.

Amodu has therefore preferred the experience of Olympique Marseille left fullback Taye Taiwo to the energy of Rennes youngster Elderson Echiejile, who was picked ahead of Taiwo for Nigeria’s last two World Cup qualifiers late last year.

Switzerland-based Yusuf Mohammed will start ahead of CSKA Moscow’s Chidi Odiah at right back.

In central defence, Everton ace Joseph Yobo will play alongside the hard- tackling Obinna Nwaneri,who starts ahead of big Danny Shittu, who has struggled to pin down a first-team shirt at Bolton.

The midfield has Mikel, Dickson Etuhu, Ayila and Almeria forward Kalu Uche, who warmed the bench for the Narobi qualifier.

Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni will partner Chinedu Ogbuke-Obasi as Osaze Odemwingie only resumed full training with the team on Sunday in Benguela after a bout of malaria.

Starting XI: Enyeama – Taiwo, Mohammed, Yobo, Nwaneri – Mikel, Etuhu, Ayila, Kalu Uche – Yakubu, Obasi