Former Monaco player, Victor Ikpeba, has taken a closer look at the Super Eagles’ squad as they prepare to face Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in the upcoming international friendly week,Soccernet.ng reports.
Jose Peseiro has selected a 22-man squad for an international friendly match in Portugal as part of the preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Ikpeba, who earned 31 caps for the Super Eagles and scored numerous goals for the team, believes that Peseiro’s troops could have some control in the game when they face the formidable Arabian side.
At the 2022 World Cup, Saudi Arabia proved to be a strong team as they stunned the World Cup winners with a 2-1 victory.
Ikpeba believes they are a formidable opponent for Nigeria, but with the quality of players in Nigeria’s midfield, he believes the Super Eagles have a good chance.
“Looking at the midfield, various players like Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, and Frank Onyedika, who plays for Brentford, so offensively I think we would have chances,” he said.
After securing their AFCON ticket by defeating Sao Tome and Principe, Nigeria has gained confidence, and the former Olympic Eagle believes that the 2013 AFCON champions can be a threat in the tournament.
“I think we can be a threat at the next Nations Cup, but I still have concerns about the defense and goalkeeper areas. But kudos to the NFF; it’s an opportunity to keep our boys busy during this international weekend.
“Against Saudi Arabia, it will be a prestige game. I think this is the second time we will be playing against Saudi Arabia. Mozambique is the birthplace of the great Eusebio, so we shouldn’t forget about that. It’s a rich footballing nation in Africa,” he continued.
Furthermore, Ikpeba sees this friendly tie as an opportunity for the squad to bond well and for Peseiro to test the strength of the new players.
“So these two games are an opportunity for these boys to bond together, and it will also be an opportunity for [Jose] Peseiro to test the new players,” he said.
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As of now, 20 players have joined the camp as they prepare to face Saudi Arabia and Mozambique on the 13th and 16th of October, aiming to build on their previous success.