Nigeria would lock horns with Sierra Leone in the Match Day 5 fixtures in the African Cup of Nations Qualifiers as anticipation continues to grow ahead of the game.
Both sides are gradually turning this fixture into a kind of rivalry.
As Nigeria’s weakness is narrowing the gap between them and the tiny football Nation Sierra Leone in terms of quality.
With much at stake in this clash, Nigeria’s Jose Peseiro and his side would be expected to win at all costs. While the game could determine his future as Nigeria’s Coach in the coming days.
With the match looming in about time, Allnigeriafootball.com takes a look at four Super Eagles players to watch out for in the Sierra Leone/Nigeria encounter.
You may Also Read: Analysis Of Nigeria Squad Ahead Of The AFCON Qualifiers Against Sierra Leone
Adebayo Adeleye (Goalkeeper)
In the absence of Nigeria’s first-choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Adebayo Adeleye would be set to start in this match against all odds.
He’s a new player in the Super Eagles team and his performance would be in view as far as this match is concerned.
In recent times, Nigeria has not had the best performance from the goalkeeping point of view as we all know.
Maduka Okoye made the error that got Nigeria eliminated 1-0 against Tunisia in the AFCON 2021 showpiece in Cameroon.
Whereas Francis Uzoho’s goalkeeping howler ensured Nigeria missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Arsenal’s Thomas Partey scored from the howler to nail the Super Eagles with an early goal that proved costly against Nigeria’s World Cup chances.
And a solid performance would be certainly expected from the Israeli-based goalkeeper (Adebayo Adeleye) against the Leone star on Sunday.
If Nigeria would come out on top in this game.
Bright Osayi-Samuel (Right-Back)
The Fenerbahce right-back would be an asset in this match especially as usual prospect Ola Aina is out of the team due to injury.
His runs and overlapping ability would come in handy against the Leone stars of Sierra Leone. While he must ensure he maintains his position defensively.
He was instrumental in Nigeria’s last match against Guinea-Bissau where he was brought down in the box for Nigeria’s penalty and only goal of that encounter.
His forward movement alongside Samuel Chukwueze on the right wing will be a delight to watch. Just as Nigeria tries to unsettle the Leone star with an early goal in this match.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Central Striker)
The Super Eagles returning striker Taiwo Awoniyi would be aiming for a starting berth in this tie.
However, it remains to be seen if he (Awoniyi) would be the striker to pair up with Victor Osimhen upfront.
On the other hand, the Eagles boss could go with the option to start with “Senior man” Kelechi Iheanacho directly behind Napoli star Osimhen.
But if Taiwo gets to start in the team, all eyes would be looking to see how he performs, especially as he helped his English Premier League side Nottingham Forest escape relegation at the end of the season.
He must take his chances if he gets to feature in this match as Nigeria has a plethora of striking options waiting in the stands for their own opportunity in the team.
Willian Troost-Ekong (Central Defender,Vice Captain)
The Super Eagles vice-Captain Troost-Ekong is back in the side after he was missing in Super Eagles’ last fixture against Guinea-Bissau.
It seems as if he was missed on that occasion as the Nigerian defence looked shaky and lacked coordination in his absence.
But the query is, can the Serie A-based defender bring the solidity Nigeria needs in the Eagle’s defence for this game?
While his experience should be a huge boost to the entire side in essence.