21 Nigerian players are presently in Singapore under the technical guidance of Gernot Rohr in preparations for the Brazil tie later on Sunday afternoon in what has been tagged ‘more than just a friendly’.
Coach Tite’s side are the overwhelming favourites, with the five-time world champions expected to pick an easy win over a largely inexperienced Nigeria team.
However, despite not boasting an array of world class talents like their South American counterparts, the Super Eagles are three-time African champions and possess a few stars who can help shock an underwhelming opponent.
To get a positive results against the Copa America champions, every single member of coach Gernot Rohr’s squad must give a bit more than 100% effort. However, Soccernet Nigeria parades the three youngsters whose best efforts could see Brazil return home disappointed.
The Villarreal wide man has had a relatively quiet start to the season and even then he has managed four goals and one assist in just eight appearances for the Yellow Submarines this season.
What the stats won’t show are his several lung-bursting runs from one end of the pitch to the other, the pre-assists he has provided through his tricky play and the willingness he has shown to help out defensively.
Chukwueze will, as usual, start out on Nigeria’s right wing where he will likely square up against Atletico Madrid’s left-back Renan Lodi, the replacement of Juventus’ Alex Sandro. Renan is not Marcelo but the 21-year-old, who made his international debut as a late sub in the game against Senegal, would provide a robust test for the 20-year-old Nigerian.
If Samuel Chukwueze is able to get the better of Renan, then the Super Eagles should have more joy down his side.
The Scotland based midfielder was a doubt for this game but he has recovered just in time from a head injury to be part of the party that wrestles the Samba Boys.
Joe made the perfect impression on his international debut, bossing the midfield and capping his performance with a fine goal as Nigeria took away a 2-2 draw from Ukraine.
His immediate assignment against Brazil will undoubtedly be to work together with Wilfred Ndidi and the rest of the defense to silence the foursome of Neymar, Coutinho, Firmino and Gabriel Jesus.
However, Aribo’s extra engine and his leggy endowments could see him, on a few occasions, burst forward and make late runs into the opposition’s danger areas. And if the Rangers midfielder is able to lose his marker on any of those runs, then another international goal may not be far from his sweet left foot.
One Nigerian player who has managed to stay ever present in the headlines since the start of the season is Victor Osimhen.
7 goals and 2 assists in just his first 9 games in the French topflight reveal a young man who is not afraid of new challenges.
The 20-year-old’s performance for Nigeria against Andriy Shevchenko’s men was his finest in the green and white colours and he would be rearing to deliver more against one of the most successful teams in international football.
Osimhen is fast, confident and unpredictable in the final third. And though it may appear as an unfair matchup coming up against the seasoned defensive duo of Marquinhos and Silva, but the Lille striker may surprise a few at the end of the 90 minutes.
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