African World Cup qualifying: What to expect next on Road to Qatar
Ed Dove
October 6, 2021
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opportunity -- the November break -- to integrate Ntep into the squad in time for the AFCON.

How will Nigeria cope with midfield absences?

Nigeria had to cope without a swathe of Premier League players during the last international break, due to the ban on U.K.-based players travelling to red-list countries, but they nonetheless dispatched Cape Verde with aplomb away from home.

There will be no such restrictions on Gernot Rohr as the Super Eagles take on the Central African Republic in a double header, although the German coach now has to contend with injury absences that will affect his midfield.

Peter Etebo is a long-term loss after tearing a quadriceps, and will miss the AFCON, while the influential Wilfred Ndidi faces a month on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury.

Without the duo, Nigeria will likely need to turn to Brentford's Frank Onyeka to step in alongside Joe Aribo in the heart of the park, while opportunity knocks for the likes of Innocent Bonke or Abdullahi Shehu as they look to push for prominence in Rohr's plans.

The inclusion of Rangers youngster Calvin Bassey, once of Leicester City, is a bright note for the Super Eagles, and the defender could be in line to receive his first cap this week.

Ilaix Moriba made to wait for Guineas debut

Rising star Ilaix Moriba will not make his hotly anticipated debut during this international break.

Despite representing Spain at under-17 level, and breaking into the Barcelona team last year, the young midfielder has opted to make the switch to Guinea at senior level.

The €16 million recruit for RB Leipzig could forge a magnificent midfield partnership with Naby Keita, but he was not named in Didier Six's squad even after Aly Kader Traore and Kaba Diawara from the Guinea technical team travelled to Spain to accelerate his documentation.

The 18-year-old will be hoping Guinea are still in contention for the World Cup by the time he does get to take his bow for the Syli Nationale, as they must now negotiate home-and-away games against Sudan, as well as the rescheduled meeting with Morocco, without him.
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