Ex-international Friday Ekpo has said Leon Balogun should return to the Super Eagles for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Uyo on November 12.
Nigeria won their opening match 2-1 against Zambia on October 9 to top Group B with three points. They are followed by Cameroon with one point while the Algerians are third with a point. Zambia occupy the bottom of the table with no point.
Mainz 05 defender Balogun missed the match against Zambia in Ndola due to an injury he sustained during a match for his club.
He returned to training last week after a two-week injury layoff but did not feature for Mainz in their 2-1 victory over his former club Darmstadt 98 on Sunday.
Former Nigeria midfielder Ekpo believes that Balogun’s return will boost the Eagles’ defence in their clash against Algeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale star told our correspondent on Monday that the Eagles needed stability in their defence to deal with the attacking prowess of the Desert Foxes. He said the Eagles should not be bothered by the coaching problem of the Algerians, adding that it would not affect them in the clash.
“The Algerians are organised and will soon get a coach for their national team, so that should not bother the Eagles at all. They should focus on getting the team ready for the Algeria match,” he said.
“The Eagles should bear in mind that they are going away to Cameroon after the Algeria match, so they need the maximum points here at home.
“That defence is the team’s weakest area now and the return of Balogun will stabilise it. The coach should invite him and other players who are in form for the match. The way he plays with (William) Troost-Ekong shows understanding between the pair. That will help the team a lot against Algeria’s fast attackers.”
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