Nigeria’s Super Eagles are gearing up for a final showdown with São Tomé e Príncipe on September 10 in their concluding group fixture for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.
Despite already securing their place in the continental championship, the former African champions have an opportunity to clinch the top spot in Group A if they avoid defeat against the island nation.
In a match largely seen as a dead rubber encounter, the coaching staff may opt to field new talents, providing them with a chance to showcase their capabilities at the highest level.
Soccernet.ng’s Imhons Erons has compiled a list of prospective players who should earn a call-up to the Super Eagles camp next week.
Goalkeepers (3): Francis Uzoho, Adebayo Adeleke, Amas Obasogie
Francis Uzoho, Nigeria’s number-one goalkeeper, returns from suspension and aims to reclaim his spot between the posts.
Adebayo Adeleke, who deputized capably in Uzoho’s absence during the Eagles’ 3-2 victory over Sierra Leone, appears as a strong backup.
Meanwhile, Amas Obasogie of Bendel Insurance has garnered attention after his penalty-saving heroics in the CAF Confederations Cup this week.
Defenders (8): Calvin Bassey, Zaidu Sanusi, Kenneth Omeruo, Bright Osayi-Samuel, William Troost-Ekong, Igoh Ogbu, Semi Ajayi, Kelvin Akpoguma
Calvin Bassey, now with Fulham in the Premier League, faces both promise and challenge after his recent debut and subsequent red card against Arsenal.
Zaidu Sanusi has reclaimed his starting position at Porto, while Bright Osayi-Samuel’s transfer situation at Fenerbahce remains unresolved but has not dimmed his on-field excellence, especially for Nigeria.
William Troost-Ekong enjoys a resurgence in Greece, Semi Ajayi shines at West Bromwich Albion, and Kevin Akpoguma represents one of the few Nigerian defenders in Europe’s top five leagues.
Slavia Prague’s Igoh Ogbu is reportedly in line for his first international call-up.
Midfielders (4): Joe Aribo, Wilfred Ndidi, Raphael Onyedika, Kelechi Nwakali
Kelechi Nwakali, excelling at Portuguese Primeira Liga club Chaves, may step in for the injured Alex Iwobi.
Raphael Onyedika is a vital presence at Club Brugge, making his inclusion in the Eagles squad justifiable.
Joe Aribo and Wilfred Ndidi, despite varying club forms, remain consistent fixtures in the national team.
Forwards (9): Nathan Tella, Chuba Akpom, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Taiwo Awoniyi
Victor Osimhen, leading the Afcon qualification series with seven goals, exhibits an insatiable appetite for scoring, having already netted three times in the Italian Serie A this season.
His previous four-goal and two-assist performance against Sao Tome and Principe signals his intent for the upcoming clash.
Taiwo Awoniyi, in fine form with Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, is an apparent standout.
Victor Boniface, new to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, has made a remarkable start to life in Germany. About time he earns his first international call-up.
Nathan Tella, fresh from a move to Bayer Leverkusen, could debut for the Super Eagles with focus on his brilliant outing for Burnley last term.
Chuba Akpom, who has secured a transfer to Ajax Amsterdam, provides versatility and ruthlessness in the attacking midfield role.
Rounding out the attacking options are Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, and Moses Simon, who would all be needed to offer vital experience to support the newer additions.