Players to watch for in Nigeria’s match against Brazil
With the additions and withdrawals that have been observed from the Nigeria camp leading up to the high profile friendly on Sunday, the conditions will now, undoubtedly throw the limelight on a couple of players who will be expected to shoulder much burden facing the Brazilians and give the fans more glimpse of what they can bring to the team in the long term.
Afrofooty takes a look at the players to watch this weekend against the Samba boys of Brazil
Samuel Chukwueze: If there remains any lingering doubts as to the level of quality the Villarreal youngster possesses, it could be his ability to produce the goods against the elite of oppositions. That question could be answered to a degree by the time he takes to the pitch on Sunday against the five-time World champions and while it is highly envisaged that Chukwueze have done enough both for Nigeria and at club level to become a fixture in this team, his performance against Brazil, arguably the biggest opponents he has had to face since his debut in November 2018 will come in instructive.
With his speed, precision and ability to be direct Chukueze could be a thorn in the flesh of the Brazilian defence, with this said though, his decision making in the final third could be sometimes lacking as he tends to make poor decisions by going for glory instead of passing to his teammates who would be in a better position to finish. With his excellent growth and steady game time Chukwueze would become the backbone of Nigeria football, hopefully he can follow up the hype and lead us to glory in years to come
Semi Ajayi: Ajayi is set to see the truest of his potentials well tested when he earns his second successive appearance here, and it is hardly difficult to fathom the reason why.
The West Brom man will be tasked with keeping out the Brazilian attackers alongside William Troost-Ekong, and both are not under the illusions as to what any lapse in concentration could lead to.
Solid enough not to be particularly blamed for any of the goals let in versus Ukraine, Rohr could be forced to lose patience if his defensive pairing does not find a way of stemming the goals and should that happen, Ajayi does look the most likely casualty.
With little international experience though, Ajayi looks like he has come to stay, he missed the AFCON tournament after he was not selected in the final 23, I believe Ajayi has got what it takes to become a Super Eagles regular, he just has to showcase it often.
Alex Iwobi: Iwobi, all flair and twinkle-toed maverick that he is, has not always unearthed that knack of coming big in top games for the Super Eagles, say like his uncle would back in the days.
He is a bunch of talent, no doubt and the spark and creativity he brings to games for his teams cannot be overlooked.
But then, Iwobi needs the goals and assists to back up his status. Could we get to see some of this against the Sëlecao?
His recent move to Everton has him play more games than he used to, starting four out of his six premier league games played for Everton this Season. Iwobi needs to start turning up for club and country as time is running out on him to prove his worth. Hopefully, we can see the Iwobi Nigerians are craving and clamoring for this season.
Victor Osimhen: Leading the goal scoring chart in French Ligue 1 is no fluke and Osimhen has continued to wow Lille’s supporter’s games after games. He possesses great pace, good understanding of play, great header, superb link up play and the ability to unsettle defender, in my own opinion we have our own Diego Costa.
His Super Eagles career only just kicked off but I’m optimistic that he would lead the line with great distinction for years to come.
The Eagles forward line of Chuwueze, Osimhen and either Moses Simon or Samuel Kalu should scare any defence in the World when we are on song.
He would need to work on his finishing and discipline though, in Lille Champions league match against Chelsea he kept on arguing with Ceaser Azipilicueta after an off the ball incident. Also what makes a good striker is the ability to make something out of nothing, convert chances and deliver the team from difficult situations.
After Odion Ighalo retired the doors became wide open for Osimhen to work straight in, I’m quite confident he would deliver and bring great memories for
football lovers in Nigeria