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Nigeria starting XI vs Portugal: Osayi-Samuel earns his debut, Moffi upfront

18:39 GMT 17/11/2022
Bright Osayi-Samuel of Nigeria against Portugal.
The Super Eagles starting line-up has been announced ahead of their clash with the 2016 European champions

Nigeria will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Algeria in their last friendly match in September, as they face World Cup-bound Portugal at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon on Thursday.

With red-hot Napoli striker Victor Osimhen absent due to an injury, Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has gone with Terem Moffi of Lorient upfront against his home country.

Portugal, who are in the same World Cup group with Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay, will pose a great test to Pesiro’s men even without captain Cristiano Ronaldo and this is perhaps why the tactician has gone with an experienced side.

  • Francis Uzoho - Nigeria

    Goalkeeper: Francis Uzoho

    The 23-year-old earns his 27th cap for the Super Eagles, having featured in the defeat to Algeria and he will be hoping to extend his great club form to the national team.

    Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot know his qualities very well following his starring role during Omonia Nicoasia’s Europa League meeting with the Red Devils in October.

  • Bright Osayi-Samuel

    Right-back: Bright Osayi-Samuel

    Fenerbahce defender Bright Osayi-Samuel has been handed his debut after receiving a first call-up to the Super Eagles squad and he has a tough job on his hands of ensuring he neutralises the threats that will come from Portugal’s left side while also acting as an extra source of creativity for the Super Eagles.

  • William Troost-Ekong

    Centre-Back: William Troost-Ekong

    The 29-year-old has regained his place at Watford and returns to the starting XI after missing the Algeria friendly. His physicality and size will come in handy when dealing with aerial threats just like his organisational skills at the back.

  • Kevin Akpoguma

    Centre-Back: Kevin Akpoguma

    Having been a mainstay in the Hoffenheim defence that has largely employed a back three, the 27-year-old will be expected to form a great partnership with Troost-Ekong even though they haven’t played together much in what will be his fifth cap.

  • Calvin Bassey - Nigeria

    Left-Back: Calvin Bassey

    Adept at playing at both centre-back and left-back, the versatile Ajax Amsterdam man has been deployed on the left of Nigeria’s defence and he will be expected to nullify the European giants with his pace used as an extra weapon when the Super Eagles are on the attack.

  • Joe Aribo of Nigeria during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Nigeria.

    Central Midfielder: Joseph Aribo

    The Southampton man got the nod ahead of the more defensive Frank Onyeka which explains Peseiro’s desire to attack rather than sit back and soak in the pressure.

  • Wilfred Ndidi Nigeria

    Central Midfielder: Wilfred Ndidi

    Returning to the side after missing a number of matches due to injuries, the Leicester City midfielder will not just add steel, but will also bring much-needed calmness while dictating play from deep whenever Nigeria are in possession.

  • Alex Iwobi

    Attacking Midfielder: Alex Iwobi

    The Everton man has excelled in midfield having been moved from the wing and he will be vital for Nigeria especially in the final third where he is likely to be the main creative force, having provided six assists and scored one goal for his club.

  • Ademola Lookman of Nigeria and Leicester City.

    Right Wing: Ademola Lookman

    The 25-year-old has been in great form for Atalanta this season where he has seven goals and an assist and Peseiro will be counting on him to get on target for the Super Eagles given how his finishing has improved. He seems to be winning his coach’s trust after starting the Algeria friendly as well.

  • CAN 2022 Nigeria Moses Simon

    Left Wing: Moses Simon

    Nantes forward Simon got the nod on the left where he is expected to offer a bigger attacking threat while his work rate will be needed out of possession.

  • Terem Moffi

    Terem Moffi

    Scorer of Nigeria’s lone goal in their defeat to Algeria, Moffi gets the nod again upfront and just like strike partner Onuachu, he comes into the game on the back of good club form which has seen him score 10 goals for his club Lorient.