Dream Team VII Head Coach, Imama Amapakabo will have to work round the clock to ensure midfielder Kelechi Nwakali will be for Nigeria’s opening game against Ivory Coast after the player appeared short of fitness in training, reports.


The 21-year-old has endured a pretty difficult 2019 on the field of play and appears to be match rusty, having last played a competitive game in September when he helped the Olympic Eagles to a comprehensive 5-0 thrashing of Sudan in Asaba.


Nwakali, who was the first foreign based player to arrive the team’s camp, has however been training hard to get fit before the country’s opener next month, with Imama also hopeful the player will be 100% ready before then.


The former Arsenal midfielder is expected to lead the Nigeria U-23 side in Egypt following the unavailability of team captain Azubuike Okechukwu who will almost certainly miss the tournament due to club duties.


Nigeria will begin their title defence against fellow West African brothers Ivory Coast on November 9 before also facing Zambia and South Africa, respectively in Group B.


The winner and runner up in the competition will automatically go on to represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.