Algeria coach Georges Leekens
Tuesday Nov 08, 2016. 07:49
Nigeria World Cup star Garba Lawal has predicted that his former coach at Roda JC Georges Leekens will lead Algeria to attack the Super Eagles in Saturday’s decisive World Cup qualifier.
Garba played for a season under Belgian coach Leekens and he specially revealed his former coach is a winner and he will aim to upstage home team Nigeria in Uyo.
“Leekens is an attacking coach, who wants the players to enjoy playing as a team, be smart in their head, attack and defend with caution,” opened up Garba, who is on the NFF technical committee.
“He wants to win every game and likes to give his players confidence.
“He will likely play with two defensive midfielders, play a smart counter attack as he has fast players in (Sofiane) Feghouli and (Islam) Slimani.”
‘Chindo’ recounted how Leekens out-thought mighty AC Milan in a European Cup winners Cup game in the 2002/03 season.
“We lost the first leg 1-0 at home, but we then won 1-0 inside the San Siro before we lost out on penalties,” he remembered.
He also stressed the Nigeria goalkeeper and defence will have to be at their best to stop an attack that parade the mercurial Riyad Mahrez.
“The Eagles back four must be concentrated throughout the 90 minutes. Several defensive mistakes we saw in Zambia went unpunished, but you cannot afford it against the stars of Algeria. If you do that, you are finished,” he warned.
“We must have a solid defence and cannot even try any zonal marking in the final third.
“And the goalkeeper will play a key role to keep out the Algerians.”
Garba featured for Esperance of Tunisia before he moved to Europe and he also expects fellow North Africans Algeria will come out in the first 15 minutes of action as well as the last 15 minutes of the game.
After all said and done, he said he hopes for a Nigerian victory on Saturday.
“It won’t be easy, it will be difficult game. Algeria won’t be the ones under pressure even though they drew with a top team like Cameroon, not a team like Zambia,” the versatile midfield work horse previewed.
“But I want Nigeria to win, no matter the score line, what is most important at this point in time are the three points.”