Tuesday Apr 19, 2016. 07:48
Enyimba will go into Wednesday evening’s crunch CAF Champions League clash at Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia worried about the poor form of star forward Ezekiel Bassey, who last year was invited for trials by EPL club West Ham.
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Appreciative Enyimba fans nicknamed Bassey ‘Hazard’ after Chelsea star Edin Hazard, but both players have been off the boil this year.
“Ezekiel Bassey’s form is worrying. He has not been able to reproduce the form that got everybody talking about him last season and earned him invitation to the Super Eagles,” a top team official informed AfricanFootball.com
“Some are saying that the size of the pitch in Port Harcourt (for their CAF Champions League) and Umuahia (for their league) has not helped him to express himself very well.”
Bassey dazzled as Nigeria brushed aside boastful Burkina Faso to qualify for CHAN 2016.
The former Akwa United winger was tipped to shine at the CHAN in Rwanda, but he only played a bit role as Nigeria crashed out in the first round of the tournament.
After he made a sparling Eagles debut in a World Cup qualifier against Swaziland in November in Port Harcourt, he failed to make the squad for the AFCON qualifiers against Egypt in March.
“If Bassey were only back to his old form, he alone can wreck Etoile on Wednesday,” lamented another Enyimba official.
Wednesday’s match will kick off by 6pm Nigerian time with 20,000 fans cheering Etoile inside the Olympic Stadium in Sousse to overturn a 3-0 loss in Nigeria and qualify for the money-spinning group stage of the Champions League.