OSAZE, UCHE WILL DELIVER FOR EAGLES â€“ UKOH
A former Super Eagles forward Anietie Ukoh has tipped Lokomotiv Moscow striker Osaze Odemwingie and Real Zaragoza's Ikechukwu Uche to shine at the World Cup in South Africa.
Nigeria will face Argentina, Greece and the Korea Republic in Group B of the tournament and the former Plateau United player insists the Eagles will not have an easy ride to the knockout stage.
He said the poor preparation for the World Cup and coach Lars Lagerback's decision to drop some players even before kicking the ball might spell doom for the team.
'We don't have world-class players in the Eagles anymore,' Ukoh told our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday.
'Our matches will be tough because of our poor preparations but I see Osaze and Uche rising to the occasion when it matters most.
'Uche has just recovered from his injuries and the few times I watched him play he showed he still has the hunger for success; the same thing with Osaze.
'These are the only players that have the skills and the pace Lagerback will need against our opponents in South Africa. The rest have not lived up to expectations and this is why I fear we might struggle to qualify for the second round.'
The former FC Abuja coach said Lagerback did the right thing by selecting six home-based players for the initial squad.
He said, 'Former Eagles coach Clemens Westerhof invited home-based players to the team during the preparations for the USA '94 World Cup but he dropped them later.
'Even though I was the highest goal scorer in the domestic league at that time, the coach dropped me after our camping in Papendal, Holland. He only wanted us to be exposed.'