Nigeria Super Eagles get their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign underway against Liberia at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday.
The Super Eagles go into the match hoping for a much improved performance following some recent below par shows in friendlies.
Gernot Rohr is still unable to call on the services of Kevin Akpoguma and Frank Onyeka for the game in Lagos.
In the run up to the game Rangers defender Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong are likely to start.
Opponents Liberia also go into the game on the back of a defeat with James Butler’s side falling 5-1 to Algeria. The Liberian national team is no longer packed with big names.
Kick Off Time
Super Eagles of Nigeria vs Liberia World Cup qualifier will be played at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, on Friday, September 3rd with the kick off at 5pm.
The two nations have met six times in history, with Nigeria winning four times. The last meeting saw Super Eagles defeat Lone Stars 6-1 in 2012 with goals from Efe Ambrose, Ahmed Musa, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Ikechukwu Uche.
Key Players to watch
Nigeria will look to get forward at every opportunity to try and exploit Lone Stars backline, and this could fall right into the hands of Moses Simon. Without Samuel Chukwueze the Eagles usually lack any attacking threat on the wings, but in Simon, Gernot Rohr has a perfect replacement for the Villarreal winger. The Nantes star has three assists already this season, and if Nigeria can get him on the ball and running at the Liberia defence then it could be the key to victory.
The Hatayspor striker will look for the ball at every opportunity and try to score. It is important that Balogun stays close to him.
The Napoli striker has had an off start to the season as he was sent off in Napoli’s opening game against Venezia. If Kelechi Iheanacho starts against Liberia then that gives Osimhen a player to play off and feed from. Osimhen is coming under scrutiny from some fans of country, and club, but the striker can send out the perfect message by downing the Lone Stars on Friday.
The NAC Breda striker will be Liberia’s biggest threat against Nigeria and he has the pace to exploit both Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong in the defence. The 20-year-old will be menacing.