It is still two months before Nigeria hosts Algeria in their second game of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series, but the Desert Foxes have already perfected their strategies for the game, which could decide who picks Group B’s sole ticket to the championship.
Nigeria will begin their campaign for the Russia 2018 ticket on October 3 when they meet Zambia in Ndola before coming back to host Algeria on matchday 2, November 7. While the Super Eagles’ new coach, Gernot Rohr, is still trying to comb through the avalanche of stars available to him, Algeria’s Coach, Milovan Rajevac, says he is ready for the matches.
Rajevac began his sojourn with Algeria with a 6-0 defeat of minnows, Lesotho, in a Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier. Now, he says he is ready for the first World Cup qualifier against Cameroun.
The former Ghana coach, who sees Nigeria and Cameroun as the toughest opponents in the group, believes winning the opening game at home will pave the way for their entry to Russia.
Speaking on the victory over Lesotho, Rajevac says, “I saw a lot of positive things in that game. The players returned to the game optimally. The most positive thing is that the players have given the best of themselves. They ran a lot and worked a lot on the field. I am proud of their performance.”
On the game against Cameroun on October 3, he said, “It is a completely different game. This is the first meeting of FIFA World Cup 2018. This is the most important game for us. We will analyse the game against Lesotho and draw conclusions to further improve the performance of the team. The level will be very high against Cameroun and we’ll prepare accordingly.”
The coach has a first hand experience of the Super Eagles, having led Ghana to a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria in an Angola 2010 African Nations Cup semifinal match. He will lead Algeria to the reverse of their clash with Nigeria on November 6, 2017. But before then, which is the final day of the qualifiers, the race for the World Cup ticket may have been settled