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Okocha, Obafemi Clash At Reebok Stadium

Posted by By Kunle Solaja on 2004/08/01 | Views: 444 |

Okocha, Obafemi Clash At Reebok Stadium


TWO key actors in Nigeria's dream of making it to the World Cup for the fourth time in a row will this afternoon play against each another as Bolton Wanderers engage visiting Inter Milan in a prestige pre-season friendly at the Reebok Stadium.

TWO key actors in Nigeria's dream of making it to the World Cup for the fourth time in a row will this afternoon play against each another as Bolton Wanderers engage visiting Inter Milan in a prestige pre-season friendly at the Reebok Stadium.

Austin Okocha, Nigeria's skipper, leads Bolton against the crack Italian Serie A outfit in their first home friendly of the season. The Italians have Super Eagles' latest striking sensation, Obafemi Martins, in their fold. Last Friday, in a practice match in which the Inter team was split into two, the Nigerian striker's goal decided the game at Angelo Moratti Sports Centre.

Tuning up for today's pre-season match, Roberto Mancini, according to Inter's official site, worked on tactics with one group, while Fernando Orsi and Fausto Salsano supervised some shooting practice for the other group of players.

Obafemi Martins is named among the 22 to feature in today's duel. Also in the squad is Argentina's Juan Sebastian Veron .

In a newsletter of Bolton Wanderers sent to The Guardian, Wanderers' manager, Sam Allardyce, was delighted to have the first home pre-season fixture of the season against such glamorous opposition.

"The name of Inter Milan is synonymous around the world and it's an honour to be hosting such a prestigious game at the Reebok Stadium.

"It will be interesting to see some of our world class players take on the might of Inter. It should be a mouth-watering prospect for the fans and for the players."

Allardyce has already named a full-strength squad for the pre-season duel. And Wanderers' supporters will get the chance to see some of the world's greatest players on the Reebok pitch.

Expected in the Inter squad, apart from Nigeria's Obafemi Martins, are Dutch international Edgar Davids, Italian striker Christian Vieri, Uruguay's Alvaro Recoba and Greek international, Giorgos Karagounis.

Bolton Wanderers are hoping to include their new sign-on, Julio Cesar, the Brazilian centre-back, in the team against Inter Milan after he passed his medical on Friday.

The former Real Madrid player will play in the Reebok friendly against the Italian giants provided his international clearance comes through in time.

Cesar, who has ended his contract with the Spanish club Valladolid, will become Sam Allardyce's seventh signing of the summer and the fourth addition to Wanderers' defensive ranks, following the earlier capture of Tunisian, Radhi Jaidi, and the arrival this week of his former Bernabeu team-mate, the veteran Spaniard, Fernando Hierro, and the Israeli starlet, Tal Ben Haim.

Wanderers are still waiting for Hierro's international clearance but Ben Haim's documentation came through, making him available for the Inter game.

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