The three-time African champions square up against the 2016 European Championship winners in the first-ever international meeting between the two
Nigeria will, on Thursday, November 17, trade tackles with Portugal at the 50,000-capacity Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon in what is the first-ever full international between both countries.
The match is Portugal’s last engagement before they jet out to Qatar on Friday, where they will kick off their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with a clash against Ghana on November 24.
The Super Eagles will not be in Qatar after narrowly missing out on qualification at the final playoff round, with Ghana’s Black Stars taking advantage of the away goal rule.
Alongside defending champions France, Brazil, and Germany, Portugal will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar.
But the 1966 World Cup bronze medallists head to the Mundial on the back of two defeats in their last five matches, falling to Switzerland and Spain.
Portugal will want to claim a win over Super Eagles before their World Cup opener.
It could be a straightforward affair for the Europeans with Nigeria on a three-match losing streak in friendly games under Portuguese manager Jose Peseiro.
Peseiro has led the Eagles to losses against Ecuador, Mexico, and Algeria, with Nigeria’s defeat at the hand of Costa Rica last week coming under the guidance of assistant coach Salisu Yusuf.
Against his country of birth, Peseiro will know a win for the Super Eagles would raise his status in the game among his compatriots.
Portugal team news
Ahead of the Mundial, Portugal have invited some of the country’s best footballers across the globe.
And that roll call includes five-time Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo – unarguably one of the best to have played the game.
While the 37-year-old is no longer at the peak of his powers, his influence could be the key difference on Thursday.
Nigeria team news
Unfortunately, unlike Portugal, Nigeria cannot count on the qualities of the team’s best player, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. Injury (or not) has made the Serie A top scorer unavailable for this encounter.
Coach Jose Peseiro, however, has capable replacements in Lorient’s Terem Moffi and Belgian Jupiler Pro League’s top marksman Paul Onuachu.
First-time invitees Boavista’s Bruno Onyemaechi and Fenerbahce’s Bright Osayi-Samuel could make their debuts against the Portuguese.
Old war-horses William Troost-Ekong and Oghenekaro Etebo will be on the ground, though, to offer experience and stability to the Eagles.
Nigeria probably lineup 4-2-3-1:
Uzoho; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Akpoguma, Bassey; Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi; Aribo, Moffi, Lookman.
Competition: International friendly
Match: Portugal vs. Nigeria
Venue: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022
Time: 7:45 pm (Nigerian time)