Nigeria Set to Lose Tammy Abraham to England This Week

first_imgFemi Solaja with agency reportThe prospect of Chelsea teenage forward, Tammy Abraham to play for Super Eagles may have been dashed going by the reports that the Nigerian- born striker may have accepted the offer to play for England after all.The Three Lions will next week be involved in Euro qualifying tournament and reports by UK’s Sportsmail indicate that he is set to accept an England call if he is selected in Gareth Southgate’s next squad – dashing Nigeria’s hopes of securing the striker’s international future. It is understood that the Football Association have requested Abraham’s medical records from Chelsea which is a clear indication that he is under serious consideration for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.THISDAY learnt that England Manager, Southgate will announce his squad tomorrow (Thursday), and with Abraham’s excellent start to the season with Chelsea is tipped to get a recall to the Three Lions.The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick had tried to lure the teenage striker to play for Super Eagles at the last World Cup finals in Russia but the plan did not work.Abraham, 22, who has two friendly caps for England, had left doors open on his international allegiance since he was yet to be capped in a tournament for England. It was this window in line with FIFA rules that Nigeria tried to exploit to convince him to play for the country of his birth.However, fresh facts out of Stamford Bridge indicate that Abraham has made up his mind to answer the England call if he is picked by Southgate this week, the Mail reported yesterday.Abraham would not be able to switch to Nigeria once he features for England in the forthcoming games against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria because they are competitive fixtures.The Blues striker has netted seven goals in the Premier League this season, which makes him the highest scoring Englishman in the top flight.Following England’s recent win over Kosovo, Southgate revealed that Abraham was firmly on his radar.There are doubts over the form of Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli should Southgate decide to make space for an extra striker by dropping a midfielder.Nigeria is also interested in poaching Abraham’s club team-mate Fikayo Tomori, who has represented England and Canada at youth level.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

UW play-action bewilders NIU

first_imgJames White (center) attempts to slip by two NIU defenders Saturday, something he did often in gaining 126 total yards a score.[/media-credit]CHICAGO – Opposing defenses are going to have to learn not to turn their backs on Wisconsin’s passing game.Time and time again in Wisconsin’s (3-0) 49-7 win over Northern Illinois (1-2) Saturday, quarterback Russell Wilson feigned a handoff and connected downfield to an open teammate, taking advantage of the tendency of Northern Illinois’ safeties to fill the holes against Wisconsin’s well-known run game.Midway through Wisconsin’s second drive of the game, on a handoff to running back James White, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was flagged for a block in the back when the Northern Illinois defender quickly turned his back on the wide receiver to cover the run.The play caught the eye of UW head coach Bret Bielema and his coaching staff, who then deduced that the play-action should leave targets open downfield.“That first penalty on Abby, the safeties were turning their shoulders right away to fill on the run game and we can’t put our hands on them – Abby did,” Bielema said. “But as soon as they do that, the counter-action to that is, they can’t see what our receivers are doing. Once they started doing that, that’s why I went to the play action.”Easily the best example of that strategy’s success came in the third quarter with the Badgers on the Huskies’ 9-yard line. Wilson faked the hand-off to running back Montee Ball, turned around and tossed a touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen, who was standing upright and alone in the endzone.Nobody was within five yards of the redshirt sophomore by the time the ball landed in his hands.“That was nice,” Pedersen said. “We’ve been working on that all week. We saw teams bringing that safety down hard and everything and it popped and worked just the way we hoped it would.”Two of Wilson’s three touchdown passes stemmed from the play-action while several other chain-moving throws – including a 38-yard pass to Abbrederis and a 55-yard pass to Pedersen – did, as well.The long passes to Abbrederis and Pedersen were two other examples of the play-action’s effectiveness, as both plays saw the two Badgers slip by all three levels of NIU’s defense before making the grab.In completing 23-of-32 passes for 347 yards (and one interception) Wilson was able to hit seven targets – four of which gained at least 50 yards receiving.Abbrederis led the team in that category, with six catches for 83 yards, while Nick Toon scored two touchdowns on top of his five catches for 75 yards.Pedersen and fullback Bradie Ewing, meanwhile, combined for 115 yards on six receptions.“It’s a positive thing for our football team, that a lot of guys can make a lot of great plays,” Wilson said. “Just giving the ball to the right guy, that’s my job, to just facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time and make plays when I need to. So that’s a positive thing and we’re doing a great job of doing that right now.”Wilson also combined the play-action with rolling out of the pocket – sometimes appearing by design and other times as improvisation.With Northern Illinois determined to stop Wisconsin’s running backs, Wilson’s ability to expand the game outside of the pocket – to throw or tuck and run – went a long way in helping UW gain a season-best 621 yards of total offense.Wilson gained an additional 37 yards on the ground on five attempts and avoided getting sacked on the day, leading his head coach to come away from Saturday’s win with the highest of praise.“Russell Wilson, he’s a guy that he knows the plan, he knows how to stick to it, but he can adapt very well,” Bielema said. “Very creative. Some of those plays that he got us out of with his feet were extraordinary.“He’s playing at a high, high level, if there’s somebody that’s better out there right now I’d like to see him compete.”last_img read more