President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has expressed confidence in the ability of the home-based professionals to defeat the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in Saturday’s 2014 African Nations Championship qualifier in Kaduna.
Maigari made the statement recently, saying: “I have high hopes in the ability of the home-based professionals to acquit themselves well against the Ivorians. They have been part of Coach Stephen Keshi’s rebuilding for almost two years now and most of them have enjoyed opportunities to play against some of the biggest teams in Africa and the world.
“Come Saturday, I know they will go all out and give their very best, and make Nigerians proud.”
Maigari sees the Eagles coming up with a solid performance at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Saturday that will make the return leg in Abidjan on July 27 a mere formality.
“It is also advisable to take good advantage of the home leg in every fixture. With highly-exposed and experienced players in our team, the task will be to take the game to our opponents in this home leg and secure a comfortable win,” Maigari added.
Nigeria go up against the Ivorians in the first senior team clash between both nation since the Super Eagles eliminated then Cup favourites Elephants in the quarter finals of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The Eagles, who have been camping in Abuja since Sunday, will travel to Kaduna on Wednesday to intensify preparations ahead of the big game.