Seychelles are ranked 139 places below Nigeria in the FIFA Ranking and a clash against the Super Eagles looks like a mismatch.
It seems like ages ago that the Super Eagles crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after failing to get a point off their third Group D game against Argentina.
The Super Eagles were less than 10 minutes away from a place in the round of 16 before Marcos Rojo netted a winner for Argentina to send Nigeria out with just three points from Group D.
The disappointment of that defeat has worn off as the Super Eagles have once again regrouped this time for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Seychelles on Saturday, September 8.
It’s been over a year ago, the Super Eagles suffered a shocking 0-2 home loss to South Africa in Matchday one of the AFCON 2019 qualifiers.
It was the 2018 World Cup that provided the cold comfort for that defeat as the Super Eagles had to get themselves up for a crucial double-header against Cameroon in the World Cup qualifiers.
With no distraction this time, all the attention is on the AFCON 2019 qualifier against Seychelles.
While the 2018 World Cup now seems like a distant memory, the Super Eagles are not heading to this game against Seychelles with a halo of a new era.
Players from the 2018 World Cup squad make up the majority of the names in Gernot Rohr’s list.
Only four players that boarded the plane to Russia were missing from Rohr’s squad for the game in Seychelles.
Victor Moses (retired), Shehu Abdullahi, (injured), Mikel John Obi (recovering from injury) and Elderson Echiejile (dropped.)-Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and William Troost Ekong have all since withdrawn due to injuries.
The only unforced decision Rohr had to make was dropping veteran left-back Echiejile for unknown Jamilu Collins who plays for German division three side SC Paderborn 07.
With his usual soldiers, Rohr and the Super Eagles will be looking to get their AFCON 2019 campaign back on.
A second-half brace from Tokelo Rantie brought the Super Eagles down to earth and against even a lesser minnows Switzerland, Rohr is even more careful.
Optically, it seems the Super Eagles are repeating complacency that cost them against South Africa. They have spent much of their time in Seychelles hitting the beach and playing fun games to let their hairs down but Rohr has assured that his players are not on holidays.
“Everyone realizes the importance of this match. We are currently number three in our group and that position does not befit Super Eagles of Nigeria,” Rohr told the official website of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“It is not good for us because it is outside the qualification range.
“The players know this. They know that on Saturday they have to show character to put our campaign back on track with a good result.”
“I’m expecting us to win the game and nothing more. It’s an important game that we cannot afford to lose,” new boy Samuel Kalu said in a video clip shared on Super Eagles Twitter account.
“We have to work hard and do whatever we can to win the game.”
Seychelles are ranked 188 in the FIFA Ranking, 139 places below Nigeria and a clash against the Super Eagles looks like a mismatch.
Coach of the Seychelles National team, Gavin Jeanne told Nigerian journalist Gavin Jeanne that he has been teased by the locals about the number of goals his team would concede against the Super Eagles.
But Jeanne is confident that his team can beat the Super Eagles.
“Yes, we are very ready and positive about our chances against Nigeria,” he told Complete Sports.
“We have prepared well and I hope the players maintain their focus and stick to the plan. We have enjoyed a good build-up to the game. It’s our biggest football match in history."