The Super Eagles of Nigeria are all set to take on Guinea Bissau in their third game in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, later this evening.
With two wins from two matches, the Eagles are looking to extend their perfect run and also edge closer to sealing a spot at the prestigious continental tournament billed for Cote d’Ivoire next year.
Multiple choices for Peseiro
With the full complement of 23 players and no report of injuries, Jose Peseiro is spoiled for choices and should be able to fashion out a winning formula against the Djurtus after enduring back-to-back losses in friendly games against Costa Rica and Portugal.
Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze, and even Ademola Lookman, who have all been in superb form for their respective clubs, are in town and ready to deliver for the Super Eagles.
Lookman and Osimhen have been painting Serie A red with goals, and the former England youth international hopes to do the same for the Super Eagles.
“I’m looking forward to another big game for us in the qualification for the AFCON,” Lookman told NFF TV.
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“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,” the Atalanta star added
Guinea-Bissau are football minnows compared to Nigeria, who are one of the most successful teams in African football history, having won the AFCON tournament three times in the past and attended the World Cup five times.
First Training Session! #NGAGNB #AFCON2023Q #SoarSuperEagles pic.twitter.com/L28KAyQFhl
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) March 20, 2023
Friday’s clash 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 at the last AFCON tournament in Cameroon, where the Super Eagles triumphed 2-0 courtesy of second-half goals from Umar Sadiq and William Troost-Ekong.
Unfortunately, neither Ekong nor Umar is on the roster for this doubleheader.
Also going by the FIFA rankings, the Eagles are over 80 places above the visitors who are ranked 118th in the world.
But Peseiro is cautious
While everything points to the Eagles as firm favourites, Peseiro admits his team cannot afford to underestimate Coach Baciro Cande’s side, who he is sure will be looking to cause an upset in order to keep their qualification hopes alive.
“I want a good atmosphere for our players. The fans should come and support us,” Peseiro said at the pre-match presser.
“Guinea is a team with good quality. They would come here to defend and try to hit us on the counter.
“We want to put in our force, our motivation, and our commitment because it is not an easy match.
“There is no easy match with me. We will play with maximum force and organization. We can’t beat Guinea if we don’t put our maximum on the field.”
Friday’s match will kick off by 5 pm at the MKO Abiola Stadium, and PREMIUM TIMES will provide LIVE UPDATES.
Nigeria XI: Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey, Zaidu Sanusi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen
Guinea Bissau XI: Jonas Mendes, Opa Sangante, Soriano Mane, Chipela Gomes, Tito Junior, Pele, Mauro Teixeira, Caba Camara, Mama Samba, Zinho, Mama Balde
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