Nigeria, Kenya Vie For World Cup Points
Nigeria and Kenya will go head-to-head in a 2014 Fifa World Cup game in Calabar this Saturday.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are favourites ahead of this clash as they have the bragging rights as African champions and are ranked 33 places above the Harambee Stars and have never lost at home to the East Africans.
But Nigeria manager, Stephen Keshi has refused to accept the toga of favourites.
"It's good past results favour us but we are not dwelling on that. If past results really count then we wouldn't even be playing Kenya. Remember they have a new coach and every coach comes with a different approach, mentality, team ethics and style of play. So we have respect for them and we will play this game with our best players," Keshi told supersport.com.
The last clash between both teams was a friendly game in Abuja in March 2011 and the Super Eagles triumphed 3-0.
The last competitive game between the two sides ended 3-2 in Nigeria's favour in a World Cup qualifying game in Nairobi in 2009.
Only four Super Eagles' players from that team of 2009 are in line for selection in this weekend's clash. They are John Obi Mikel, Vincent Enyeama, Elderson Echiejile and Obafemi Martins, who scored twice in that game.
One of Kenya's goalscorers in that World Cup qualifying in Nairobi in 2009, Dennis Oliech, will captain Adel Amrouche's men. Others in that team available are Arnold Origi, Peter Opiyo, George Owino, Mulinge Ndeto and Victor Wanyama.
The African champions are without Celtic defender, Efe Ambrose, who is suspended but Keshi could select Sunshine Stars' Solomon Kwambe to fill in at the right-back.
Amrouche will also look in the direction of David Gateri, Brian Mandela and Jamal Mohammed to add quality in the Kenyan side.
"This presents us with a big opportunity to play the African champions. We came here to play football," said Amrouche, who looks forward to the clash.
A win for Nigeria will keep them top of Group F in the World Cup qualification and leave the Kenyans rooted to bottom spot behind Namibia and Malawi.
In spite of this permutation, Keshi is not expecting the Kenyans to roll up in Calabar.
"Easy game? No there are no easy games especially when you're champions of the continent," said the Nigeria head coach.
The game between Nigeria and Kenya is live on SuperSport 3 Nigeria from 4pm local time (5pm CAT) on Saturday.