The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be taking on the Elephants of Ivory Coast in the third quarterfinal of the African Nation's Cup on Sunday. Many people in Nigeria and beyond believe that this Super Eagles team is not good enough to beat the Ivorians but I disagree. I now present to you my strategy which I strongly believe the Super Eagles can execute to defeat the Elephants...
To beat Ivory Coast, the Super Eagles have to adopt the 4-4-2 formation
at the beginning of the match. Play a very high line in defence (Yobo
should lead the line), then play Mikel, Igiebor, Moses and Emenike as
your attacking quartet. This four will press the Ivorians from their
half when they are without the ball and will strive to score a goal or
two as early as possible in the game.
The orientation of this
line-up is attacking through the middle. The Ivorian defence is its
weakest link, we need to run at them without fear. The objective is to
put the ball in the back of their net as many times as possible not to
look at their names or faces.
Once we score and can defend it
into the 2nd half, we will change the formation into a modified 4-3-3
formation. It will be 4-4-2 when we defend and 4-3-3 when we attack, at
this point the Ivorians will be tiring. We must exploit the spaces at
the back of their defence.
The essence of
playing a high line in defence is to use the offside trap as best we
can. The Ivorians will have a few chances when they beat the trap but I
expect quick recovery times from our defenders and a world class
performance from our goalkeeper.
needs to be proficient at taking penalty kicks whilst Enyeama has to
get better at stopping them. Players who don't know how to take penalty
kicks should be taught how. The easier way to succeed as a penalty taker
is to watch the movement of the goal keeper and place the ball in the
opposite direction, blindly kicking the ball will mean a higher chance
of you missing it or the keeper saving it.
The Ivorians have not
won the African Cup of Nations since 1992. Why? Other teams have
defeated them, the Super Eagles can do the same.