There will be action across Europe’s domestic leagues this weekend, with the Italian top-flight also kicking off this weekend
The Italian Serie A is the only major league in Europe yet to kick-off, but the action gets underway this weekend, and there will be a lot of Nigerian interest.
Leading Nigeria’s charge in Italy’s top division is none other than the country’s golden boy Victor Osimhen. This campaign will be Osimhen’s second in Italy, but he will hope to do better than his debut season.
The 22-year-old joined Napoli from Lille for a club and African record fee of 81.3m euros but missed three months of action due to a shoulder injury and coronavirus.
However, he still managed to score ten goals in 24 league games, including seven in the last 11. The former Lille striker is expected to take the form to a higher level this season, especially under Luciano Spalletti, who replaced Gennaro Gattuso as Napoli coach in the summer.
Also Read: Serie A: Can Osimhen challenge Ronaldo for the Capocannoniere?
He has already shown a glimpse of what to expect with eight goals in five pre-season games. Napoli open their campaign against Venezia, which means Osimhen will come up against two of his Nigerian compatriots.
The newly-promoted side signed Tyronne Ebuehi and David Okereke on a season-long loan deal this summer as they hope to retain their top-flight status.
Ebuehi is one to keep an eye on as he continues to put his career back on track after some injury setbacks. In another Serie A game, Ola Aina will hope to feature when Torino, under new manager Ivan Juric, take on Atalanta.
Meanwhile, last season’s record-breaker, Simy Nwankwo, will be aiming to repeat his trick for another newly-promoted side after joining Salernitana from Crotone.
Simy is not the only Nigerian who will feature for The Garnets this season after they signed Joel Obi on a one-year deal.
In France, Terem Moffi will hope to build on his match-winning performance last weekend when Lorient travel to Montpellier on Sunday.
Likewise, Moses Simon will aim to continue his impressive start when Nantes take on Rennes. Samuel Kalu suffered a health scare last weekend, but he is back in training and could feature for Bordeaux in their game against Angers.
Union Berlin’s goalscoring burden will be on Taiwo Awoniyi when they take on Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga on Sunday afternoon.
In the Premier League, Frank Onyeka will be part of a Brentford squad that will aim to build on their opening day win against Arsenal when they travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.
Alex Iwobi will hope to be in the starting lineup when Everton take on Leeds United. The Super Eagles midfielder came on last weekend to help the Toffees secure an opening day win over Southampton.
Emmanuel Dennis could make it two out of two when Watford take on Brighton. His compatriots Oghenekaro Etebo and William Troost-Ekong should also play a role for the Hornets.
Meanwhile, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi face a tough clash as Leicester City travel to London to take on West Ham in Monday night football.
In Holland, Maduka Okoye will hope to keep a clean sheet and secure a win when Sparta Rotterdam host Heracles on Sunday. Okoye conceded four times in his opening game this season.
Some of the selected matches involving Nigerians this weekend:
Arsenal Tula vs Spartak Moscow
CSKA moscow vs Akhmet grozny
Crystal Palace vs Brentford
Leeds vs Everton
Salzburg vs Austria Klagenfurt
Rizespor vs Karagumruk
Brighton vs Watford.
Espanyol vs Villarreal
Granada vs Valencia
PSV Eindhoven vs Cambuur
Sparta Rotterdam vs Heracles
Torino vs Atalanta
Bordeaux vs Angers
Montpelier vs Lorient
Hoffenheim vs Union Berlin
Ross County vs Rangers
Rennes vs Nantes
Bologna vs Salernitana
Maritimo vs Porto
Khimki vs Rubin Kazan
Napoli vs Venezia
Wolves vs Leicester City