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Soccer News of Tuesday, 14 November 2023


Super Eagles poised for 2026 World Cup Qualifier showdown against Lesotho

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles will on Thursday evening take on Lesotho in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The World Cup qualifier will take place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

Jose Peseiro, the head coach of the Super Eagles, has already released his 23-man squad to tackle Lesotho.

Peseiro’s squad boasts of the likes of Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman, Fulham’s Alex Iwobi, Brentford’s Frank Onyeka, Nottingham Forest stars Taiwo Awoniyi and Olaoluwa Aina, among others.

Unfortunately, Peseiro will be without the likes of key players such as Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi against Lesotho.

Nigeria and Lesotho have played three games since 2007 and the 2013 AFCON Champions have won all three games.

The West African giants will be expected to do the same when they host Leslie Notsi’s side.

Nigeria are in Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

They will subsequently face the likes of Zimbabwe, Benin, South Africa and Rwanda.

Nigeria head to the game after beating Mozambique 3-2 and playing a 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia in their last friendly games in October.

Prior to the last two friendly games, the Super Eagles had lost eight games and won five under Peseiro, who was appointed as the team’s head coach on May 15, 2022.

When asked for his opinion on the World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Lesotho, Alpha Markus Sidi, Wakanda FC midfielder, told DAILY POST that Peseiro’s men have the players that can execute the job despite the absence of Osimhen and Ndidi.

“It will be a tough game but I expect Nigeria to take advantage of playing at home and beat Lesotho. The Lesotho game will be their first match of the World Cup qualifying series and it is very important to start with a win.

“I also expect the Super Eagles to be too strong for Lesotho despite the absence of Osimhen, Ndidi and Chukwueze.”

Asked to name the Super Eagles players to watch out for, Sidi added, “Obviously, Awoniyi, he scored for Nottingham Forest over the weekend. He recently came back from injury and he is in form. I expect him to do well in this game, lead the attack in Osimhen’s absence and also be on the scoresheet.

“Another player to watch out for is Frank Onyeka, who plays for Brentford in England. He has been brilliant for the Super Eagles in their previous games, so I expect him to control the midfield in Ndidi’s absence. Ola Aina is another player to watch out for. He is a regular player for Nottingham Forest. He gave an assist against West Ham in their last game and even scored a goal against Aston Villa some days ago. I expect him to shine against Lesotho.

“Finally, the man from Atalanta, Lookman. He is a very good player who can dribble past opponents, so he should also have a good game against Lesotho.”

Asked for his prediction, Sidi said, “2-0 in favour of the Super Eagles.”

The kick-off time for Nigeria vs Lesotho is 5 pm.