As the Super Eagles of Nigeria continue their knockout stage campaign against South Africa, there are a few questions regarding the tactics to be used. One such issue surrounds the role of Samuel Chukwueze, who has impressed so far during his limited time on the pitch.
The knockout stage of the AFCON is a completely different tournament. Unlike in the group stages, only victory will suffice.
Coaches are now faced with the dilemma of whether to go with similar tactics and lineups that allowed them to advance out of the group stage, or take a risk and try something new in order to keep the opponent guessing – and Gernot Rohr is certainly no exception to this.
The Manager is widely expected to use the 4-2-3-1 formation in the match with Bafana Bafana on Wednesday.
4-2-3-1 formation is a unique system, and should be advocated given the recent performance of Chukwueze in the salivating victory over Cameroon.
During the group stage, he made one start in the win against Burundi and had a cameo against Guinea. His contribution in the thriller against Cameroon kept tongues wagging.
With Moses Simon painting an increasingly anomalous figure, culminating in a largely forgettable match against Cameroon, if faith is to be put into Chukwueze, now is the time to show it.
Allowing the Villarreal man a place in the starting XI would not only reward Chukwueze for his fine display against Cameroon, it would also allow Rohr to assess the Abia-native’s ability to play from the start, whilst also signalling to Simon that he faces competition from within the team, and needs to play better – which can only help the Eagles.