With Nigeria not going to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the game against the former European champions will be the country’s last engagement for the year
The Super Eagles are scheduled to trade tackles with Portugal in an international friendly match billed for the Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, on November 17.
In the coming days, Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro is expected to announce his 25-man roster for the fixture against Cristiano Ronaldo and co.
Soccernet.ng‘s Imhons Erons runs the rule over the players who should make the list.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye, Adebayo Adeleye
Maduka Okoye remains a benchwarmer at Watford but a favourite of Nigeria’s national team handlers.
Francis Uzoho, though, is buzzing at the moment following his near-perfect outing for Omonia Nicosia at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the Europa League.
While Uzoho will likely man the post against Portugal, Hapoel Jerusalem’s Adeleye will be a decent option on the substitute bench.
Defenders: Zaidu Sanusi, Chidozie Awaziem, Calvin Bassey, Tyronne Ebuehi, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Kevin Akpoguma
Torino’s Ola Aina is out of this fixture due to injury, leaving an opening for Empoli’s Tyronne Ebuehi to make a return to the national team fold.
Awaziem is enjoying a spectacular season in Croatia with Hajduk Split.
Calvin Bassey featured in all of Ajax’s six Champions League group stage matches, even if the Dutch side dropped to the Europa League.
William Troost-Ekong is back to the first-team picture at Watford following the arrival of Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.
2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner Kenneth Omeruo remains Nigeria’s most experienced defender. At the same time, Kevin Akpoguma’s versatility across the backline will come in handy for the Eagles.
Central Midfielders: Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Raphael Onyedika, Alhassan Yusuf, Frank Onyeka
Everton’s Alex Iwobi has been Nigeria’s best player in the English Premier League this term.
Joe Aribo excused himself for the last friendly against Algeria, but he could return for Portugal.
Ponferradina’s Kelechi Nwakali would be a good replacement in case Aribo is absent again.
Aside from Bassey with Ajax, Club Brugge’s Raphael Onyedika was Nigeria’s most consistent performer in the Champions League group stage.
He made his Super Eagles debut versus Algeria and should continue the national team adventure in Lisbon.
Wilfred Ndidi continues his rehabilitation from injury, and who better to replace him than Royal Antwerp’s Alhassan Yusuf? The youngster has been brilliant in Belgium.
Frank Onyeka’s resurgence at Brentford is also pleasing to behold.
Wingers: Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Emmanuel Dennis, Ahmed Musa, Saviour Godwin
Nantes’ Moses Simon and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze are Nigeria’s first-choice wingers when fit and available.
But Ademola Lookman’s excellent form in the Italian Serie A could place the Atalanta attacker ahead of one of those two in manager Jose Peseiro’s appraisal.
Emmanuel Dennis of Nottingham Forest would be a capable option from the bench, while Ahmed Musa’s inspirational status on and off the pitch cannot be underrated.
Saviour Godwin impressed Peseiro in Oran last month and could be the Portuguese manager’s wild card from now on.
Strikers: Victor Osimhen, Paul Onuachu, Terem Moffi, Kelechi Iheanacho
Victor Osimhen is back and better, and the Napoli man is expected to be the number-one name on Peseiro’s list.
Out injured in September, Osimhen returned with fire in October, and the former Lille lad is the favourite to pick Serie A’s best player award for the month.
With Cyriel Dessers injured, Paul Onuachu could be the man to replace the Cremonese star.
Terem Moffi is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the French Ligue 1.
Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho should complete the attacking lineup for the Portugal game.
Super Eagles’ probable 25-man shortlist
Head coach: Jose Peseiro