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Algeria to capitalise on Ikeme’s absence

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Carl Ikeme
Carl Ikeme

Coach of the Algerian soccer team, Georges Leekens feels that the injury of Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has swung the pendulum in favour of his side ahead of next weekend’s 2018 World Cup qualifier with Nigeria at the 30,000-capacity Godswill Akpabio International Stadium,, Akwa Ibom. Carl Ikeme Both African heavyweights clash in a potentially explosive Russia 2018 qualifying match in Uyo, with the Algerians desperately needing a victory to get back on track after their opening 1-1 draw with Cameroon, saw them dropping the initiative to the Nigerians, who rolled to a 2-1 away in Zambia and lead the chasing pack with three points. Ikeme, who was in a injury victim during Wolves 1-1 draw wth Blackburn last weekend, midweek withdrew from the looming duel with the Algerians because of a sore hip and a strained oblique muscle. Wolves interim boss Rob Edwards had tried to manage Ikeme’s injury, after instructing the medical team to try and reduce the inflammation but unfortunately, the treatment did not work, effectively knocking the tall and dependable goalkeeper out of this weekend’s visit of Derby County. With Ikeme out of the picture in Uyo, Eagles coach, Gernoit Rohr has invited Chippa United goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi to fill the void of the 30 year old keeper. And in a rather unsurprising move, Algeria’s coach, Leekens has heaved a sigh of relief that his strikers, comprising Riyad Mahrez, Islam Sliman and Hilal Soudani El Arabi  will not facing Ikeme, who made some blinding saves in the last match in Zambia. According to a report in the Algeria Press Service, Leekens said, ”the exit of Nigeria’s goalkeeper is good omen for us because he is a good stopper of the ball and without him, our strikers will fancy their chances in goal”. The Frenchman added that “we need a win to get back on track and the news that Nigeria’s goalkeeper is out of the match will help our cause to get back on track. But we nevertheless, we must work extremely hard to get the three points in Nigeria”.

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