Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi Identified As Super Eagles Key Man By Brazil Coach

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Brazil's assistant coach, Cleber Xavier, believes Alex Iwobi would be the 'dangerman' for Nigeria when they take on the Selecao.

The five-time world champions play Nigeria as one of two international friendly games in Singapore against African opposition, the other team being AFCON runners-up, Senegal.

In the build-up to both games, Tite's assistant has talked about the style of both West African nations as well as the stars of the team he expects to cost his side some problems.

Although Nigeria possesses Iots of attacking talents, including Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chikwueze and new boy, Joe Aribo, Xavier believes Everton winger, Alex Iwobi is the man that makes things happen for the Super Eagles.

“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton,” Xavier said in an interview on BBC Sport.

Alex Iwobi Identified As Super Eagles Key Man By Brazil Coach

“He is the link in the counter-attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.”

Before the Copa America holders square up against Alex Iwobi and his teammates, they have to battle against a Sadio Mane led Senegalese team on Thursday.

Analysing the playing style of both teams, Xavier said: “Nigeria defend less than Senegal. The Senegalese are more about positioning with [Idrissa] Gueye marking strongly.

"Senegal is a very well trained and strong team. They conceded few goals during the Africa Cup of Nations with interesting players like Sadio Mane and Idrissa Gueye.

"Ismaila Sarr on the wing is a player of individual actions and in the centre M'Baye Niang plays as a pivot, a support player for Sarr and Mane to feed off.

"It is a direct team that seeks Mane with the long ball, a transition from defence to attack geared around him. It is a demanding team."

“These two friendlies and the two November friendlies will allow us to test new players and to adjust and tweak some tactical details in attack and defence.

“We did this in the preparation for the Copa America. We succeeded in the objective of winning and did so unbeaten.

“Every time the qualifiers become more difficult. It is a very hard competition. Last time we qualified with four rounds to go, which was a great achievement.”

While Brazil is using the friendly games as tune-up games for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, both Nigeria and Senegal are hoping the game against the Samba boys will serve as good preparation for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which begin in November.

Happenings Media