El Tri are once again favourites to outclass their African opponents, but newly-appointed head coach Peseiro will aim to start his tenure with the Eagles on a positive note
Nigeria take on Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, later tonight in one of two top-rated friendlies scheduled during this international break.
In what would be the first game of Jose Peseiro’s reign in charge of the Super Eagles, the three-time African champions will look to secure their first-ever victory over the former Concacaf Gold Cup champions.
A long list of absences and withdrawals means Nigeria will not be at full strength against El Tri. Still, a few exciting stars already in camp could make it a difficult afternoon for the North Americans.
Soccernet.ng’s Imhons Erons presents a possible starting eleven that could hand coach Jose Peseiro a win in his first day on the Super Eagles bench.
Goalkeeper: Francis Uzoho
In the absence of regular number one Maduka Okoye, Uzoho should have little trouble impressing the coaches and earning a slot between the sticks.
Enyimba’s Ojo Olorunleke and Akwa United’s Adewale Adeyinka are, however, former youth internationals who can equally handle the pressure if called upon.
Defenders: Aina, Ekong, Ajayi, Bassey
William Troost-Ekong’s regular defensive partner Leon Balogun is unavailable, leaving a centre-back slot open.
Plateau Utd’s Ibrahim Buhari, the NPFL’s top-scoring defender in the league with five goals, would ordinarily be the ideal partner for the Watford man. But West Brom’s Semi Ajayi could get the nod after another impressive spell in the Championship.
Meanwhile, no one is taking away that left-back role from Rangers Calvin Bassey in the nearest future. Torino’s Ola Aina comes in at right-back.
Midfielders: Nosiru, Iwobi, Aribo
The Eagles are currently short on defensive midfielders, but energetic Kwara United midfielder Babatunde Afeez Nosiru should fit in just fine.
A free-kick specialist and long-range shot expert, Nosiru can bring a lot against Mexico. Everton’s Alex Iwobi and Rangers Joe Aribo would be tasked with giving Nosiru a helping hand and offering creativity in the middle of the park.
Attackers: Simon, Dessers, Rafiu
In the absence of half a dozen Nigerian strikers, Cyriel Dessers is set to make his full debut for the Super Eagles.
The Feyenoord striker is the Europa Conference League’s leading goalscorer and should be a handful for El Tri defenders.
Nantes’ Moses Simon would supply Dessers the ammunition from the left flank, while Rivers United’s Ishaq Rafiu could be Peseiro’s joker operating from the right side.
The 21-year-old has been the season’s revelation in the NPFL, with 14 goals & three assists from 26 games.
If he is in the mood, Mexico may find the former Golden Eaglets star too hot to handle.