Top Five Super eagles players to watch out for against Sierra Leone in the AFCON qualifer
The Super Eagles are favourites to take all three points when they face Sierra Leone on Friday in the first of their Africa Cup of Nations double-header.
Below are the Top Five Nigeria Super Eagles players you have to watch out for when playing against Sierra Leone.
#1. Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi got a lot of stick from supporters and Iwobi remains one of the side’s most important players.
The Everton attacking midfielder is not only capable of playing in multiple positions but is integral to Rohr’s side keeping possession and progressing the play into dangerous areas.
While the ex-Arsenal player may not get anything close to brilliant numbers in goals and assists, having him in the team makes this Nigeria side tick…this can’t be emphasised enough!
#2. Victor Osimhen
Osimhen the Napoli frontman returns to the Nigeria fold having missed last month’s friendlies vs Algeria and Tunisia, giving Gernot Rohr’s men a lift.
Osimhen’s all-round game of being largely potent in the box whilst tending to bring teammates into play will raise the standard in the African giants’ game against Sierra Leone after the somewhat lower standard last time out.
Even though the former Lille striker hasn’t been at his goalscoring best for the Azzurri, his five goal contributions — three goals and two assists — so far in qualifying means he’ll be Nigeria’s biggest threat without question.
#3. Joe Aribo
After Aribo missed October’s internationals, the Rangers midfielder returns to the Super Eagles looking to improve in the middle of the park after his understudies struggled against both North African nations last month.
Part of this is due to Rohr’s annoying insistence on having inadequate natural midfielders in the set-up, still, Aribo’s return brings quality to the middle of the park for Nigeria despite the paucity of options.
This won’t be music to the ears of the Leone Stars, who not only have to deal with a returning energetic striker but arguably the team’s best midfielder after currently injured Wilfred Ndidi.
#4. Zaidu Sanusi
The marauding left-back’s debut against Algeria offered promise for the three-time African champions, especially after struggles to find the best man for that wide defensive berth on the left.
Sanusi’s first-half showing against Djamel Belmadi’s team was particularly the highlight and the Porto left-back’s impetus going forward would be an attacking weapon for Rohr’s men vs their West African visitors.
With Osimhen now back in the fold, the wide defender’s threat in the final third could theoretically be enhanced with a more potent forward on the pitch.
#5. Samuel Chukwueze
Having finally ended an extended period without a La Liga goal for Villarreal, Chukwueze will want to carry that confidence into the games vs Sierra Leone.
The winger’s pace and direct running with the ball will always be a danger to any opponent, and this gets harder to deal with when aforementioned player is in the right headspace.
The Leone Stars will hope the wide forward isn’t on his game, but that can’t be guaranteed given his recent success in front of goal for the Yellow Submarine.