Soccernet.ng previews the AFCON 2023 qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Djurtus
Nigeria lock horns with Guinea Bissau as they continue their quest towards qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Friday.
The Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, and they will be gunning for a strong response with a win against the Djurtus in their third game en route to earning a ticket to Cote d’Ivoire.
Coach Jose Peseiro is under intense pressure to deliver results with Nigeria having in mind that lost their last two matches in all competitions.
Nigeria Team News
Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey, Zaidu Sanusi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen
Nigeria’s last international outing was in November 2022 with a 4-0 defeat to Portugal inside Estadio Jose Alvalade. Prior to that, they had bowed 2-1 to 2019 African champions, Algeria.
They had hit Sao Tome and Principe for ten in their last competitive outing with red-hot Victor Osimhen grabbing headlines thanks to his six-goal contribution while Terem Moffi bagged a brace.
Osimhen is just one goal away from becoming Super Eagles’ seventh all-time leading goalscorer, equaling Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo’s mark of 16 goals. He has been excellent for Napoli as well, with 21 Serie A goals this season. The 24-year-old will be the one to keep an eye on for the visitors’ back line.
Injuries & suspensions
Ola Aina was not called up due to card offences, while goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye was snubbed for the crunch fixture. Peseiro has instead called up four uncapped players to the squad – Victor Sochima, Kingsley Aniagboso, Daniel Bameyi, and Bruno Onyemaechi.
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Kingsley Aniagboso (Giant Brillars)
Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK, Turkey); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Calvin Bassey (FC Ajax, The Netherlands); Daniel Bameyi (YumYum FC); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Joe Aribo (Southampton, England)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal CF, Spain); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta BC, Italy); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Southampton FC, England)
Guinea Bissau Team News
Jonas Mendes, Opa Sangante, Soriano Mane, Chipela Gomes, Tito Junior, Pele, Mauro Teixeira, Caba Camara, Mama Samba, Zinho, Mama Balde
After a failed expedition at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Guinea Bissau boosted their chances of a reaching Cote d’Ivoire 2023 with one win and a draw in Group A, to place second beside Nigeria.
They played out a 0-0 draw with Gambia in their last international outing. Before taking on the Scorpions, they were silenced 3-1 by Gabon.
Goalkeeper Jonas Mendes will be looking to prevent Nigeria’s star-studded attack from getting the goals. Also, the 33-year-old will extend his record being the most capped player in Djurtus’ history with his 52nd cap.
Injuries & suspensions
Sana Gomes is suspended for this fixture following his dismissal against Sierra Leone. Meanwhile Nanu and Jose Embalo have not been called up due to contrasting reason. Portugal based Pele – who was one of the country’s poor performers at AFCON 2021 – would be aiming to make his international recall count against the three-time African kings.
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Jonas Mendes (Kalamata), Manuel Samba Balde (Vizela), Fernando Embadje (Alcanenense)
Defenders: Fali Cande (Metz), Opa Sangante (Chateauroux), Manconi Soriano Mane (Moreriense), Tito Cabral Junior (Varzim), Prosper Mendy (Kaisar), Jefferson Encada (Pharco), Eulanio Chipela Gomes (Santa Clara), Pedro Justiano Gomes (Radomiak)
Midfielders: Alfa Semedo Esteves (Al-Taee), Mauro Teixeira (Yverdon), Mamadi Caba Camara (Reading), Moreto Cassama (Omonia Nicosia), Pele (Famalicao), Bura (Mes Kerman), Euciodalcio Gomes (Apoel Nicosia)
Forwards: Piqueti Djassi (Al-Shoalah), Mama Samba Balde (Troyes), Joao Mario N. Fernandes (Spartak Varna), Jorge Fernado B. Intima (Ludogorets), Zinho Gano (Zulte Waragem), Toni Correia Gomes (Zira FK), Esmiraldo Sa Silva (Feirense)
Nigeria vs Guinea Bissau match preview
The Super Eagles take on Djurtus with the Nigerians aiming to extend their 100% record in the qualification series.
Friday night’s encounter in Abuja will be the second match between the two countries on the international scene. The only time both teams have met so far was in Cameroon 2021 – there, Super Eagles triumphed 2-0 courtesy of second-half goals from Umar Sadiq and William Troost-Ekong.
Notwithstanding Guinea Bissau’s pedigree in African football, Peseiro’s men cannot afford to underestimate the visitors who are ranked 118th in the world.
“I’m Looking forward to another big game for us in the qualification for the AFCON,” Lookman told NFF TV.
“This is an opportunity for us to get close to qualification. It’s always nice to score goals, which I’ve been doing. So I would like to take that into the team and keep working hard.
“But the most important thing is for the team to win and for us to qualify for the AFCON.”
Coach Baciro Cande has an unenviable task on his hands as he looks to prevent a back-to-back loss to Nigerians.