Nigeria Lack ‘Big Name’ Players; Have Speed, Quality In Attack

Mansour Boutabout, a former Algeria international, says the Super Eagles lack big name players but quickly notes that Rohr’s men are full of speed and quality in the attack.

Boutabout told ahead Sunday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal match between Algeria and Nigeria in Cairo that the Super Eagles possess speed and quality going forward, and submits that the semifinal clash would be a difficult game.

“It’s the last straight line. There is the physical freshness (among the Algerian players), but now it is mostly the mind that will make the difference,” said Boutabout who was capped 22 times by Algeria and scored 6 goals.

“It is the strength of the group that must carry you. I do not think we need to change much (in the starting lineup). But on the other hand, I feel that changes should be made earlier in the game.

“It will not be easy. There are no big stars in Nigeria, but there is speed and quality in the (Super Eagles’) attack.”

Also Read – INTERVIEW: Rohr Talks Up Eagles’ Readiness For Algeria Clash; On Lineup, Criticism Of Team

Boutabout also reflects on the Fennecs’ quarterfinal triumph over the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

“So far, this is the biggest game of this CAN. All the ingredients were present. There was play, intensity. The Ivorians have clearly raised their level of play.

“I was particularly impressed by the offensive trio, Kodjia, Zaha and Gradel. Algeria seemed a little notch above me.

“They were efficient in the first half, and should have killed the match with Bounedjah’s (missed) penalty kick.”

Boutabout represented Algeria at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia which Nigeria won. The Algerian team lost to Morocco in the quarterfinals.

By Sab Osuji

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