By Sulayman Bah
The services of an experienced Pa Modou Jagne will be missed in the final away game in Algeria as the left-back is out injured
Formerly a striker which initially led to his purchase by second tier FC Wil then St Gallen where he was converted to a left-back, the Gambian captain is very much a doubt for the all-important fixture in Algeria which could, to some extent, determine whether the Scorpions qualify or not for the Nations Cup in Egypt.
Foroyaa Sport lists a number of players who could fill the void in case Nda stays on the peripheries and becomes unavailable for the tie in Algiers.
SIMON RICHTER: The Denmark-born plays in the third tier in the Scandinavian country but the experience he exudes each time he dons the national team jersey seems to suggest his football has outgrown the Danish third tier.
A natural right-back, a role he has played since start of his career, the 33-year-old can also field as a left-back and a central defender. This means, Simon’s teammate at club side Dawda Ngum moving to the right and him switching to left. Both do good enough of a job and have proven not to falter each time they’re summoned.
EBRIMA SOHNA: Club-less this moment, Sohna is highly expected to play in this encounter against the Desert Foxes whose team is expected to comprise experimental players with coach Belmadi already assured of qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations group stage. If all players remain injury-free, Tom, it’s being anticipated, will for once break away from his overly cautious approach or tradition of packing two defensive midfielders to seal the back-three.
Sohna is versatile and was being used at both left and sometimes right-back under Peter Bonu Johnson while Tijan Jaiteh tidies the midfield with Sulayman Marreh –another defensive midfielder – fielding as an attacking playmaker. The 3-0 home loss to Ivory Coast is a case in point. In the event the coach snubs Hamza Barry again that leaves him with only Ebou Adams, Ebrima Sohna, Sulayman Marreh, Yusupha Bobb and Tijan Jaiteh.
However, considering qualification lies at stake, putting up an attacking formation becomes inevitable and a must. The gaffer will have to stick with a bit flexible Marreh to sit deep complimented by Sohna to intercept attacks with one of the Yusuphas –Bobb or Njie – championing the attack. Yusupha Njie is an all-out forward but is also suitable for the attacking midfielder’s cap. Ebou Adams, a confirmed destroyer of attacks but not an initiator of play, will then have to wait on the fringes.
Lamin Jallow or Mustapha Carayol and Musa Barrow or Ablie Jallow can spread out on the left and the right flanks respectively spurred on by established centre-forward and starter Assan Ceesay.
GREGORY SAMBOU: The Real de Banjul starlet has been a mainstay in the squad and appears the sole man to get involved if ever a local-based player is to be accorded playing minutes from the start.
He starred on both legs against Mauritania and the away tie in Yaounde against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. The defender will be a strong candidate to fill the void as a left-back if Nda goes on to miss out. This translates as one of the foreign-based players making way for him in that position.