Former Nigeria international Mutiu Adepoju has advised the Super Eagles on how to keep Poland’s Robert Lewandowski silenced when the two sides meet in an international friendly on Friday.
Gernot Rohr’s side kick off their international break with a bout against the Poles in Wroclaw as they continue their World Cup preparation. The West Africans will then square off against Serbia in London on Tuesday.
In Lewandowski, who’s already netted 23 goals in the Bundesliga so far this term, the central-defensive duo of William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun face their sternest test yet, but Adepoju believes the lethal hitman can be silenced.
“Each and every one of the Super Eagles should work as a team, try as much as possible to monitor his movement and [that of the] key players in the team who give him the passes,” the Headmaster told Goal.
“[Lewandowski] is going to be cunning and he has a big body that can shield our defenders,” he added. “He should be kept at arm’s length and [our players] should watch his movement.”
Lewandowski was the top scorer in the whole of the UEFA World Cup qualifying programme, netting 16 as Adam Nawalka’s side booked their spot at the global showpiece.
The attacker may be hoping to exploit some uncertainty in the heart of the Eagles defence, where Gernot Rohr is yet to reveal whether Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho or another contender is his number one goalkeeper for the impending tournament in Russia.
“[Nigeria] should not lose any view of [Lewandowski] at any moment,” Adepoju continued, “because he is cunning and he knows how to move into space to get what he wants.
“I believe they have other big stars in the team and [it will be dangerous] if there is too much attention on Lewandowski.”
As well as the Bayern Munich hitman, Poland also boast the likes of Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Grosicki and Piotr Zielinski, all of whom can trouble the Super Eagles’ backline.
Nigeria will be pitted against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in their World Cup group, while Poland will face another West African foe – in Senegal – as well as Japan and Colombia.