Chelsea Drops Moses
English club Chelsea have dropped their Nigeria international Victor Moses from the squad to face Sparta Prague in their Europa League tie on Thursday. The Nigeria international had been quickly recalled for the trip to the Czech Republic which forced him to travel back to England from South Africa instead of heading to Abuja with his teammates.
But Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has carefully avoided making the same mistake as Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, who played Efe Ambrose against Juventus two days after the Africa Cup of Nations final match against Burkina Faso in South Africa. Ambrose, who only arrived in Glasgow on match day, turned out a huge deficit to Celtic despite his sterling performance for Nigeria in South Africa. Lennon would admit on Wednesday that he took “a gamble” by fielding Ambrose.
Even though Mikel Obi and Moses were initially in the game plan, Chelsea later exempted Mikel but finally left out Moses who only arrived in London on Tuesday for the Wednesday flight to Prague.
Meanwhile, in the United States of America, Nigeria international Bright Dike has successfully undergone surgery on an injured knee while expressing his desire to return to the team soon for the Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign.
The Portlands Timber striker told MTNFootball.com that he suffered the injury while playing a pre-season match against Seattle Sounders.
He said, “I injured my knee during a test game for my team against Seattle Sounders. It all happened when their goalkeeper and a player fell on my leg. I thank God the surgery was successful and I am looking forward to a quick recovery.”
On his international career, Dike, who became a big hit among Nigeria fans when he scored a superb goal in a friendly against Catalonia as part of the build-up to the 2013 AFCON, said he hopes to be involved in the World Cup qualifiers and Confederations Cup.
“I hope to be back with the Super Eagles for the World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup, but I don’t know for now when because it will depend on my recovery,” Dike said.
Dike used the opportunity to congratulate the Super Eagles for their victory in South Africa and said he would have been surprised if Emmanuel Emenike had not emerged as the top scorer of the tournament.
“I congratulate Nigeria for winning the Nations Cup. I always knew Emenike would do well and score goals. I would have been surprised if he didn’t end up as top scorer. He is a wonderful goal getter,” Dike said as he hailed his cousin Emenike.