Analysis Of Nigeria Squad Ahead Of The AFCON Qualifiers Against Sierra Leone

Nigeria would be taking on Sierra Leone on Sunday in Monrovia, Liberia since the Leone Stars couldn’t get a Stadium approved by CAF for this match.

However, it still promises to be an interesting matchup as Sierra Leone led by their Veteran defender Steve Caulker would look to pull a shock in this match against Nigeria.

And as the game draws close by all means, takes a look at the overall analysis of the Nigeria squad ahead of the all-important clash against Sierra Leone on Sunday.

In the Goalkeeping Area

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The Super Eagles have not been at their possible best in the goalkeeping position in recent times.

The likes of Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho have faltered in goal for Nigeria recently and Daniel Akpeyi of Mamelodi Sundowns have not inspired much confidence in the goal himself.

Again, Okoye withdraws from Super Eagles' team for Mexico, Ecuador friendlies | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

And with all the aforementioned goalies unavailable for this match for various reasons, Nigeria would be making do with inexperienced personnel in the goalpost.

In the team, Adebayo Adeleye and two home-based goalkeepers in Victor Sochima (Rivers United) and Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba International) would be competing for the only spot in the starting team.

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But we can admit that this personnel are not yet tested and trusted to be in between the sticks for Nigeria in such a competitive game.

While Nigeria would hope that whoever that’s selected in goal would leave up to the expectations of Nigerians in this match.

The Defensive Unit

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The defence is another area where Nigeria expect more improvement as more playing personnel are needed to boast the team after proper scouting programs.

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The Super Eagles need quality in the defence while we make do with the very best we have at hand at least.

José Peseiro is spoilt for choices here with Willian Troost-Ekong returning to boost the team ahead of this clash.

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Even Kenneth Omeruo, Semi Ajayi and Kevin Akpoguma offer more options in the central defence as well.

With Ola Aina out of the team injured, Bright Osayi-Samuel is expected to do a great job even though we acknowledge the fact that Empoli defender Tyronne Ebuehi should have been called up to serve as a backup to the Fenerbahce star.

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In the left-back position, Calvin Bassey will slug it out with Zaidu Sanusi who won the Portuguese League with Spanish giants FC Porto.

Peseiro may get to pick Bassey to start in the centre back thus pairing him with Troost-Ekong in the heart of the defence.Calvin Bassey: Who is the Nigeria international signed by Ajax? | Nigeria But the Ajax defender Bassey could end up getting the nod to start ahead of Zaidu Sanusi in the left-back role as well.

All the same, Nigeria can manage to keep out their counterpart in this match at least with the quality of personnel at their disposal.


Since Troost-Ekong is back among the mix of stars like Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi and Kenneth Omeruo in the Nigerian defence.

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Nigeria’s Midfield Corundum

The Eagles’ midfield has been the major weak point for the team for a long while. The team is lacking mobility and creativity in the midfield.

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And the fact that Eberechi Eze turned down the chance to play for Nigeria makes it a big loss. The Nigerian midfield is lacking numbers amid options in that area.

Currently, now, We only have Joe Aribo, and Alex Iwobi in the attacking midfield.

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But with the latter struggling to assert his influence amid his confidence level while Aribo had a season to forget in the Premier League, I wonder how the Super Eagles would exude flamboyance and flair in the middle of the park.

Either Frank Onyeka or Wilfred Ndidi would fill the slot in the defensive midfield position yet again.

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The midfield depth is non-existence and it’s really too bad for Nigeria’s football talent and pedigree. Nigeria can only hope for a better player in this position.

While we hope that the services of Raphael Onyedika, Nathan Tella and Carney Chukwuemeka can be available in the future for the Super Eagles side.

Eagles Striking Arsenal

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There is a depth of attacking options in this position despite the critics coming in for the inclusion of Ahmed Musa in the side.

Star names like Isaac Success, Odion Ighalo and Emmanuel Dennis are not listed for this AFCON qualifying clash.

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And Jose Peseiro omitted promising talents like Victor Boniface, Gift Orban and Sky Bet Championship top scorer Chuba Akpom from the side.

But somehow Nigeria have some fiery attacking players that can get the job done in this encounter.Lookman, Chukwueze, Musa, Simon: Which winger should make Nigeria's first XI vs Guinea-Bissau? - Soccernet NG

Ademola Lookman and Samuel Chukwueze have been speaking highly about the importance of winning the match via the transfer speculation surrounding the latter.


However, the presence of Kelechi Iheanacho would make the attack sparkle against the Leone Stars.Iheanacho was benched against Ghana after failing to man-mark Partey - Eguavoen | Goal.comWhile he’s expected to inspire hope in this match via his eye for goals and the ability to find the final pass behind the main striker.



Just as Victor Osimhen and Taiwo Awoniyi could be paired upfront in the bid to tear down the opposing defence in the contest.


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