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Nigeria will not risk Chukwueze and Bonke for Ghana World Cup qualifier – Eguavoen

10:08 GMT+3 29/03/2022
Samuel Chukwueze of Nigeria challenged by Abdelrazig Yaoub Omer of Sudan.
The Super Eagles boss provides updates on his two key players as they prepare to face the Black Stars in Abuja

Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen has stated he will not risk anything in regards to the availability of Innocent Bonke and Samuel Chukwueze for the decisive 2022 World Cup play-off return leg fixture against Ghana on Tuesday.

The Super Eagles will host the Black Stars at MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja just four days after the first meeting ended 0-0 at Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

During the away fixture, Nigeria suffered injury blows to Bonke and Chukwueze. It was Villarreal winger Chukwueze, who was withdrawn first in the 59th minute to be replaced by Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis.

Meanwhile, Bonke, who turns out for Ligue 1 club Lorient, followed Chukwueze out of the pitch as he was pulled out in the 62nd minute for Oghenekaro Etebo. Since returning to Abuja, Chukwueze has not been able to train with the squad while Bonke missed Saturday’s training session.

Eguavoen has confirmed he will have to wait for a report from the medical team before making a decision on whether the two players will be involved against the Black Stars.

“That’s a very interesting one, they are still under observation. Chukwueze had a scan, the result hasn’t come,” Eguavoen stated when asked to provide a fitness update for the two players as quoted by allnigeriasoccer.com.

“Bonke is not participating this evening as well because he had a knock. Our medical team is still working on them, it’s 24 hours before the game, we are not going to risk anything.

“I’m expecting a report from the medical team and once they get that to me by 9 pm tonight we’ll know whether they will be on the pitch tomorrow [Tuesday]. We have enough personnel in the team that can do the job.”

Elsewhere, Eguavoen has called on Super Eagles fans to turn out in large numbers and cheer the team to victory.

“Expectations are high - Nigerians, football lovers, Super Eagles supporters,” Eguavoen continued.

“They have been cheering for the team, they should continue, and we can promise them at the end of the day everybody will be happy, so they should keep the support high. Fill up the stadium and cheer Nigeria.”

On whether Nigeria stand a chance to reach Qatar, Eguavoen said: “I’m representing all Nigerian coaches both old and young. We need to collectively be in Qatar so that's the message.

“Once we cross the line tomorrow, everybody will be jubilating.”