Super Eagles vice-captain William Troost-Ekong expects the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to be spurred on by thoughts of revenge when both sides clash in the first of two friendly matches at the Stadion Weiner Neustadt, Vienna, on Friday.
Nigeria has gotten the better of bitter rivals Cameroon the last three times, knocking the Central African side out of the 2019 Nations Cup and denying them a place in the 2018 World Cup.
Despite the Super Eagles’ recent dominance over Cameroon, the West Africans have suffered plenty of heartbreak to the Indomitable Lions over the years especially at the AFCON where they have lost in three finals against Cameroon in 1984, 1988 and 2000.
Ahead of the first clash between these sides in two years, Troost-Ekong believes the Cameroonians will be looking to reassert their dominance but maintains the Super Eagles will be up to the task.
“It’s going to be a difficult game, the Watford centre-back told NFF media. “I think we have played them a lot in the last couple of years. They’ve always been a difficult opponent, so yes, it’s going to be a team that wants to probably get revenge against us, because we knocked them out of the World Cup, and at the AFCON we did the same thing.
“It’s going to be a difficult game, and the boys are ready to have a good fight, and also just enjoy the game and show ourselves, see what we can do, and like I said make sure we finish the season on a high.”
The Eagles camp in Vienna has a different feel this time around with many first-time players called up after a host of regulars pulled out.
Victor Osimhen, Semi Ajayi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Ola Aina, Simy Nwankwo, Zaidu Sanusi and Kevin Akpoguma all withdrew due to injuries, with boss Gernot Rohr handing invitations to fringe players Abraham Marcus, Peter Olayinka, Valentine Ozornwafor and Terem Moffi.
Nigeria’s talent pool, Troost-Ekong believes, bodes well for the national team and having helped his side gain promotion to the English Premiership and with many other Nigerian players also ending their club seasons on a high, the former Udinese stalwart says they are all motivated to cap their season on a positive note with victory against Cameroon.
“Yes, it’s been good,” Troost-Ekong said about the mood in the Eagles camp. “We’ve got a lot of new faces here in camp, and all of us want to make sure we have a good game to finish off the season. It’s good to see that we have a good team spirit, and we’re happy to be here.”