With Nigeria’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations, the focus of the country’s footballers and fans shifts back to club competitions across Europe and beyond
With the English Premier League on its mid-season break, none of Nigeria’s growing contingent will be in action this weekend.
But over in Scotland, the Premiership continues with matchday 23 fixtures slated for Saturday and Sunday. Rangers’ potentially tricky clash at Ross County is the game of interest, with Super Eagles star Joe Aribo likely to feature at some point.
Gers boss Gio van Bronckhorst resisted the urge to name the classy midfielder in the squad that battled to a lone-goal victory over Livingston in midweek.
The Dutch manager will likely call on the Nigerian this weekend as the champions cannot afford a slip-up at the Global Energy Stadium, knowing that arch-rivals Celtic are only four points behind ahead of the duo’s titanic meeting next week.
In Portugal, head coach Sérgio Conceição will be delighted to have Nigerian defender Zaidu Sanusi back in the fold ahead of Porto’s Primeira Liga faceoff with Maritimo at the Estadio do Dragao on Sunday.
The former Santa Clara ace was the Super Eagles’ preferred left-back at the Afcon in Cameroon, and he will look to keep up his rich vein of form should he be selected against the Lions of Almirante Reis.
In the Spanish LaLiga Smartbank, Almeria will hope the return of talismanic striker Umar Sadiq will help them halt a terrible run of four league games without a win.
A difficult game awaits them at Real Oviedo on Saturday, but with eight-goal hero Sadiq back from Cameroon, the Rojiblancos have an excellent chance to claim their first league win of 2022.
Elsewhere in Liga 2, Kenneth Omeruo can put behind him the disappointment of the Afcon by helping Leganes dispatch Alcorcon at the Estadio Butarque on Sunday.
Omeruo missed the chance to be the first Nigerian to lift the Nations Cup twice. Still, his immediate concern would be to see the Cucumber Growers avoid relegation, starting with the game against bottom club Alcorcon.