NIGERIA, Calabar : Nigeria’s (top L-R) midfielder John Obi Mikel, defender Kenneth Omeruo, forward Brown Ideye, forward Emmanuel Emenike, defender Godfrey Oboabona, defender Efe Ambrose, (bottom L-R) midfielder Victor Moses, defender Uwa Echiejile, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and midfielder Ahmed Musa pose for a group picture before the 2014 FIFA World Cup African zone second leg play-off football match between Nigeria and Ethiopia in Calabar on November 16, 2013. Nigeria won 2-0. AFP PHOTO/
By John EGBOKHAN
World Cup-bound Super Eagles players have returned to the trenches to help their clubs push for domestic titles as action in the European league resumes in full swing after the international break.
With World Cup qualification to Brazil 2014 sealed, courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate win over the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, Super Eagles stars, comprising Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Shiola Ameobi, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, Ogenyi Onazi and Ahmed Musa can now fully focus on their club career, for now, at least until next year March, when the next FIFA window will come into place.
For the moment, Moses, who scored one of the two goals in the defeat of the Ethiopians at the U.J Esuene Stadium, Calabar, will be seeking a starting role as Liverpool face Everton tomorrow at Goodison Park.
With just a goal in seven Premier League appearances for the Anfield side, the on-loan Chelsea forward is anxious to prove his goalscoring credentials in a Liverpool field featuring Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Everton will provide a tough proposition in this Merseyside derby against Liverpool, who if they get the three points, will overtake Arsenal on the top of the table, at least for two hours. Liverpool have 23 points while leaders Arsenal, who play third-placed Southampton, have 25 going into this weekend’s round of matches.
Fourth-placed Chelsea are on the road to face West Ham , with Eagles midfielder Mikel Obi angling for a place in Jose Mourinho’s star-studded midfield line-up.
Fresh from scoring a goal for the Super Eagles in their 2-2 draw with Italy at Craven Cottage, Shola Ameobi will fancy his chances of continuing his fine scoring form as Newcastle host Norwich. A win for the Toon army will see them leapfrog ManchesterCity into eight position with 20 points.
In Turkey, Eagles forward Emenike will be primed for action for table-topping Fernabahce’s trip to Antalyaspor on Sunday.
Fernabahce lead the pack with 28 points and another win this weekend will stretch their lead to seven points should their closest rivals Kasimpasa drop points away to Bursaspor tomorrow.
Ogenyi Onazi was voted man of the match during Eagles 2-0 defeat of Ethiopia and also put up a good performance in the 2-2 draw with Italy in London and should rightly feel confident of doing well when he returns to Serie A action for Lazio, who battle Sampdoria on Sunday. Sampdoria are in the relegation zone leaving eight-placed Lazio, with 16 points, with the chance of scooping all three points.
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