Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that his team would miss Odion Ighalo, Francis Uzoho, Wilfred Ndidi and Abdulahi Shehu in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations clash with South Africa on Saturday.
While Shehu, Uzoho and Ighalo are injured, Ndidi is serving a one-match suspension due to two yellow cards.
But Rohr expects Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen, Theophilus Afelokhai and Mikel Agu to fill the voids.
The German also believes his young team has evolved well from their matchday one defeat at home to Bafana in Uyo last year.
“Three injured players and one suspended, it is difficult to play without them,” Rohr told journalists in Asaba.
“We are missing our right-back, Shehu, Ndidi is missing through suspension and injuries to our goalkeeper (Uzoho) and our goalscorer (Ighalo).
“So it’s a lot, but we will try to go to South Africa with some new players.
“We lost to South Africa a long time ago – over a year ago, but my young team now have experience of the World Cup and I believe they are able to play a good match even if we are missing four key players especially the goalkeeper and the goalscorer.
“Training sessions were good and we are well prepared.”
The Super Eagles squad is expected to fly out of the country from Benin Edo State later today (Thursday) aboard a charter Air Max to Johannesburg.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles need a point to secure a berth in the 2019 Afcon tournament in Cameroon next summer having missed out on two previous Afcon tournaments.