Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has expressed fears that the dismissal of Algeria’s coach, Milovan Rajevac, could work in favour of the North Africans when they play against Nigeria in Uyo in next month’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Also, former national U-17 assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade, believes that the sack of Rajevac could spur the Algerians to battle Nigeria for the maximum three points at stake in the encounter.
Algeria sacked Serbian coach, Rajevac, during the week following dressing room unrest for their 1-1 draw at home with Cameroon.
Nigeria will host Algeria at the Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo, on November 12 in the second match in the Russia 2018 qualifiers.
The Super Eagles defeated Zambia 2-1 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to top Group B with three points while the Desert Foxes are third on one point following their 1-1 draw with Cameroon at home.
Rohr believes that the Algerians, who are likely to be without a substantive coach before the end of the year, may be motivated by the problem to grab three points against Nigeria at home.
“The sack of their coach may be the motivation Algeria need to play against us,” the German told Africanfootball.com.
“It will be difficult for a new coach to put together a team in three weeks for our match, but possibly the assistant coaches could manage it.”
Ugbade, who spoke with our correspondent on Friday, said the Algerians would be motivated by the assistant coaches who are one of their own.
He said, “The thinking of the North African countries is the same with that of the Arab nations. They work very hard to convince people that their people are the best. That will be what they will come out to do against Nigeria in Uyo,” he said.
“The coach they sacked was a Serbian and his assistants, who are likely to lead the team to Nigeria for the match, are not foreigners. They will want to work very hard to get the three points against us here to show that the assistants can do the job.”
Ugbade said the Algerians, who are desperate for their first win in the qualifiers, will be quite difficult to beat in Uyo without a coach.
“The absence of a coach in a team can make or mar them but with the Algerian team, it is the motivation they need coupled with the fact that they are playing against Nigeria,” he said.
“For the match, Nigeria have the advantage of having three points from our first match against Zambia but the Algerians are under pressure to get their first win of the qualifiers and will want to do that against Nigeria.
“Their calculations will be that if they can beat Nigeria in Uyo, they will top the group with four points and relax while playing Zambia in their next game at home. The absence of a permanent coach will bring out the full force in them to achieve that goal and the Eagles have to be very careful and watchful in that match.
“Playing Algeria will demand a lot of tactical and technical skills because they are a very good side and also very physical in their approach to the game. They will be coming out here to prove a point and the Eagles will need to watch out for them.”