Rangers winger Ejike Uzoenyi has emerged a major injury doubt for the 2014 CHAN as Nigeria host Ethiopia in a warm-up on Saturday in Abuja.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told MTNFootball.com that dropped Warri Wolves forward Oghenekaro Etebo has stayed back in the team’s training camp in Abuja because Uzoenyi is nursing an injury.
“Ejike Uzoenyi had a injury and we needed to observe him, so as not to have a vacuum should he not make it, we had to keep Oghene in camp,” said Keshi.
Saturday’s friendly against another CHAN-bound team Ethiopia will be a good preparation for the Eagles ahead of the tournament in South Africa.
“The game against Ethiopia is a great one. It will help me see the loop holes left in my team, so we can make final corrections before heading to South Africa,” Keshi said.
“It is going to be a tough game, we know the Ethiopia team is almost their team A, but we are not afraid as we are fully prepared. We will put in our best and go all out. I believe we will come out victorious,” defender Azubuike Egwuekwe told MTNFootball.com
Warri Wolves new signing Joshua Obaje said they aim to win.
“It is a match to show how prepared we are for CHAN, so we are going to play to win,” Obaje declared.
For the 2014 CHAN, Nigeria are drawn in Group A along with hosts South Africa, Mali and Mozambique, while Ethiopia are drawn against Ghana, Congo and Libya.
Incidentally, both teams have clashed thrice at full international level last year with Nigeria winning all the games including 2014 World Cup play-offs.
Ethiopia will be parading virtually their full international team with skipper Degu Debebe leading a squad dominated by perennial champions Saint George.
Twenty-two-year-old left back Abebaw Butako has been reinstated to the squad after he fought with goalkeeper Sisay Bancha in Calabar after Ethiopia exited from the 2014 World Cup 4-1 on aggregate.
The match will kick off 4pm local time at the Abuja National Stadium.