mikel
Super Eagles in training on Tuesday/ Photograph: Nigeria Football Federation

Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel expects a difficult game against Algeria in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Mikel, Ahmed Musa and 18 others took part in the team’s first training session at the National Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday.

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Nigeria lead Group B of the African qualifying zone with three points, while their opponents are in third with one.

A win for the Super Eagles will put them in a strong position for the group’s sole ticket to Russia. But Mikel, who spoke to reporters after the training, expects a fierce response from the Desert Warriors, who were held at home by Cameroon in their opening game.

A tactical game in prospect

“They will play to their own strength, while we also play to our own strength and I think it is going to be a very tactical game.

“So, we have to be careful. We want to win but a draw wouldn’t be a bad result,’’ Obi said.

He then urged his teammates to remain focused as the momentum is with them following the 2-1 win at Zambia last time out.

“We must continue to do exactly what we are doing.

“We’ve been doing things right, we have been playing well and look solid as a team.

“Defensively, we look good, going forward we look good, we create chances and we score goals.

“So, we have to continue to do exactly what we are doing, maintain focus, discipline in camp and ensure we work very hard toward Saturday,’’ Obi said.

He noted that though the Algerians would prove difficult to beat, the quality of players in the team will find a way.

“We are a very good side. We are a very young team.

“Even though we have a couple of experienced players, the team is very young and energetic. So, the counter-attacking style of the Algerians will not be a problem for us.

“We can recover, we can attack. We’ve got the legs to do that.