Nigeria will face Copa America champions Brazil in an international friendly match at the Singapore National Stadium on Sunday with a Super Eagles star having been identified as the man to watch out for by the Selecao coach.
Brazil assistant coach Cleber Xavier has picked out Everton forward Alex Iwobi has the player that Neymar and co must tame if the South Americans desire victory when the two nations trade tackles this weekend.
Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr is set to unleash Lille’s goal machine Victor Osimhen, Villarreal’s wing wizard Samuel Chukwueze and Rangers’ ‘new J J Okocha’ Joe Aribo among others on the 5-time world champions but it is Everton’s new recruit, Alex Iwobi who is giving the handlers of the Samba Boys the most headache.
“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton,” Xavier told BBC Sport.
“He is the link in the counter-attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.”
Before playing the Super Eagles, Brazil will first clash with Senegal on Thursday.
Brazil, according to Xavier, plans to use the friendly against the two African giants to prepare for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign.
“Nigeria defend less than Senegal. The Senegalese are more about positioning with [Idrissa] Gueye marking strongly,” he added.
“These two friendlies and the two November friendlies will allow us to test new players and to adjust and tweak some tactical details in attack and defence.
“We did this in the preparation for the Copa America. We succeeded in the objective of winning and did so unbeaten.
“Every time the qualifiers become more difficult. It is a very hard competition. Last time we qualified with four rounds to go, which was a great achievement.”
Nigeria is using the Brazil friendly as a tune up game in preparation for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which begin in November.