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SUPER EAGLES: How Nigeria should lineup for the friendly against Portugal

Proposing and predicting the starting XI for the Super Eagles friendly match against Portugal.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on Portugal on Thursday, November 16 in an international friendly match ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

23 players have been invited to prosecute the friendly which is meaningless for Nigeria but important for Portugal as they prepare for the showpiece in Qatar.

Based on the strength of the squad and the importance of the game or lack of it thereof, here is how Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro should set up his team against Portugal in Lisbon on Thursday.

Based on the previous selections, Jose Peseiro’s typical starting xi can be predicted with Francis Uzoho most likely to start in goal based on his current form.

Francis Uzoho operanews.com.ng

Calvin Bassey will most likely start as a left full-back in a back four in the absence of Zaidu Sanusi with Tyronne Ebuehi on the right.

William Troost-Ekong and Kevin Akpoguma are most likely going to form the centre-back pairing for Jose Peseiro.

Nigeria have recently dabbled with a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, same of which can be expected on Thursday with Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi as the midfield pivot and Joe Aribo in front of them right behind the striker.

Iwobi and Aribo headline the list of players in Nigeria’s camp ahead of the clash against Portugal. AFP

The front three would most likely be Ademola Lookman, Moses Simon and Terem Moffi who is in superb goalscoring form this season.

What Peseiro is expected to do with his lineup against Portugal and what he should actually do are not the same thing.

Head coach Peseiro watches on as the Super Eagles players prepare for their AFCON qualifier operanews.com.ng

Uzoho should start in goal not because he’s particularly exceptional but because he’s better than Maduka Okoye and Adebayo Adeleye.

Since this is only a friendly with no consequences, this is as good a time as any to check out some of the new players such as Bright Osayi-Samuel who should start at right back.

Bright Osayi-Samuel is in line to make his Super Eagles debut against Portugal operanews.com.ng

Another newcomer, Bruno Onyemaechi should start in central defence alongside captain Troost-Ekong while Bassey plays left-back.

Iwobi and Ndidi should remain as the pivots while Lookman starts on the left wing and Moses Simon on the right wing to spam crosses into the box.

Ademola Lookman has been in red-hot form for Atalanta this season operanews.com.ng

An outright front two of Paul Onuachu and Terem Moffi would be a good idea as they are both in superb goalscoring form and would complement each other in terms of playing style.

Seeing as the result is not important, it would be nice if Peseiro prioritised playing new players and trying out new tactics in this game rather than same of the same.

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