As the Super Eagles gear up to face Guinea-Bissau in the return leg of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, all eyes will be on the players who could potentially hurt the Nigerian side.
Four players stand out in particular, each with unique skills and talents that could make a difference on the field.
First is Opa Sangante, the 32-year-old centre-back who captains LB Châteauroux in the French Championnat National. With 15 caps for Guinea-Bissau, Sangante assisted his team’s goal in the first leg and is solid in defence while dangerous in attack.
Next is Alfa Semedo, the defensive midfielder who has played for Benfica, Nottingham Forest, and Reading and now features for Al Tai in the Saudi Pro League.
At €1.80 million, Semedo is one of Guinea-Bissau’s most valuable players and has two goals in 13 games for his country. He will be looking to nullify the threat of Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo or any other attacking midfielder that the Eagles field.
Dálcio is a 26-year-old central midfielder who can play at right wing, as he did against Nigeria on Friday. Although he missed a chance to double Guinea-Bissau’s advantage, he is still a potent threat, with two goals and two assists in 24 league games for APOEL Nicosia.
A former Portugal youth international, Dálcio now has four caps for Guinea-Bissau and will be looking to use his skills to help his team win.
Finally, Mama Baldé is Guinea-Bissau’s most potent dangerman and most valuable player at €6 million.
The 27-year-old centre-forward stars for Troyes in the French Ligue 1 and has ten goals and four assists in 25 league games for his club.
In the first leg, he scored the historic winning goal after ghosting behind Nigeria’s defence, and he will be looking to cause more damage in Bissau.
As the Super Eagles prepare for the second leg, they will need to keep a close eye on these four players who have the potential to cause them problems.
With Guinea-Bissau currently leading Group A, the Eagles will need to be at their best to secure a win and keep their hopes of qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations alive.