Nigerians to watch this weekend

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Joe Aribo Alex Iwobi, Southampton Everton 2022-23
GOAL previews the nation’s stars expected to feature for their respective clubs around the world this weekend

Nigerians in the Premier League will desire a different set of results after the Boxing Day games produced little cheer for their respective sides.

Alex Iwobi and his Everton teammates, beaten at the death by Wolverhampton Wanderers on the 26th, face a daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium while Nottingham Forest look to claim another scalp at the City Ground when Chelsea visit on January 1.

The Spanish top flight resumes this weekend as well, with Samuel Chukwueze likely to continue in Quique Setien’s XI when Villarreal host Valencia.

  1. Ndidi and Iheanacho
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    Ndidi and Iheanacho

    After getting cameos off the bench in Leicester City’s 3-0 defeat by Newcastle United on Boxing Day, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho could start when the Foxes travel to Liverpool.

    The anchorman had a commendable 18 minutes against the Magpies and the requirements of what could be a tough outing at Anfield could see Brendan Rodgers play the midfielder from the off.

    Iheanacho’s role on Merseyside remains to be seen but the forward will hope for some game time in any capacity, as those have been limited in recent months.

  2. Joe Aribo
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    Joe Aribo

    Having been seemingly not preferred by Nathan Jones, Aribo got 45 minutes off the bench in Southampton’s 3-1 loss versus Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day.

    The versatile operator will now hope the Saints’ new boss selects him from the off when the south coast outfit travel to Fulham.

    Tosin Adarabioyo has barely played for the Cottagers of late, featuring in just one of their last seven Premier League games, and is unlikely to start at Craven Cottage.

  3. Alex Iwobi
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    Alex Iwobi

    Iwobi has endured criticism of late, with Everton supporters censuring the Nigerian’s performances.

    The Toffees are at defending league champions Manchester City this weekend, looking to somehow come away with a positive result.

    Frank Lampard’s men are winless in their last four, losing three on the trot, so they have it all to do against Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad Stadium.

  4. Taiwo Awoniyi
    Getty Images.

    Taiwo Awoniyi

    After underwhelming for an hour at Manchester United, Awoniyi was hooked by Steve Cooper in the 3-0 defeat.

    Nottingham Forest have been awful on their travels, so a favourable outcome at Old Trafford was probably unlikely.

    However, their performances at the City Ground have impressed, with a 1-0 win over Liverpool in late October being the standout win.

    Awoniyi netted the winning goal against the Reds on that day, and the striker will fancy his chances of another big goal when the second-bottom Tricky Trees host Chelsea.

    Forest are unbeaten in four home games (eight points) and have an outside chance of stunning Graham Potter’s men.

  5. Samuel Chukwueze

    Samuel Chukwueze

    The wide attacker has been one of Setien’s trusted men since replacing Unai Emery at Villarreal and the winger ought to start when the Yellow Submarine host Valencia on Saturday.

    Chukwueze was on fire before the World Cup hiatus, scoring twice and setting up as many in the club’s 9-0 Copa del Rey success at Santa Amalia, and scored and assisted in the team’s 4-3 success over Galatasaray on December 6, putting him in seemingly fine shape for La Liga’s restart.

    Setien’s troops could move into the top six if they win and results elsewhere go their way.

  6. Terem Moffi

    Terem Moffi

    Lorient’s run without winning in Ligue 1 extended to six after dropping points against Montpellier on Thursday.

    Moffi could not add to his 10 league goals in the 2-0 defeat, but the striker will hope for improved fortunes when Les Merlus visit cellar-dwelling Angers on Sunday.

    The centre-forward’s off-kilter shooting contributed to Lorient’s defeat, and the free-falling Brittany outfit’s prospects against the division’s poorest side will hinge on the Nigerian finding his shooting boots at Stade Raymond Kopa.