Watford striker Odion Ighalo is determined to lead the way for Nigeria in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt on Friday, but has stressed Samson Siasia’s men need a team effort if they are to get a positive result.
Nigeria sit second in Group G heading into this week’s game with four points from two games, trailing their opponents by two points ahead of a crucial double-header.
Friday’s encounter is the first game since Sunday Oliseh’s departure back in February, but Ighalo says the change of coach will not affect Nigeria.
“These matches against Egypt are important and crucial towards our aspirations of playing at the next tournament in Gabon,” Ighalo told the official CAF website.
“I will give my best and play with a lot of determination. We know the matches against Egypt are not going to be easy but with determination, we shall be victorious.
“I will as usual give more than 100 per cent irrespective of the fact that we have new coaches in charge of the team. There is nothing new and I would go out there and do my best like I have always done under previous coaches.
“Against Egypt, it is going to be about team effort and I want to believe, as a team, we have what it takes to confront Egypt. I want to believe with our collective effort, we can get good results against Egypt.”
Nigeria started their qualification campaign with a win over Chad, before having to settle for a goalless draw with Tanzania.
Egypt, meanwhile, have won seven AFCON titles, but failed to qualify for the finals on their past three attempts.
However, the Pharaohs will be brimming with confidence following their sublime start to the qualification campaign, beating Tanzania 3-0 before hammering Chad 5-1.
Hector Cuper somewhat surprisingly left Zamalek forward Bassem Morsy – whose four goals rank him the Pharaohs’ top scorer in the qualifiers – out of his squad for the clash with Nigeria, while his team-mate Kahraba missed out due to injury.
Star attacker Mohamed Salah did make the cut, though, and will be keen to build on his recent club form, having scored five times in his last six Serie A outings.
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