The Nigeria U-20 team, Flying Eagles and the U-17 sides, Golden Eaglets have had encounters with Portugal before, but next week’s duel in Lisboa will be the very first encounters of Nigeria and Portugal.
The friendly match may have been made easy by the fact that Nigeria has a Portuguese coach for the first time. Jose Peseiro has rolled out the best posssible legs to confront his native country as the Crisitiano Ronaldo-inspired sides play their last match ahead of Qatar 2022 which most likely will be Ronaldo’s last dance at the global fiesta.
In the 23-man list, Peseiro named one home boy, Chidiebube Duru a defender with Rivers United. In the absence of Ahmed Musa, William Ekong will captain the side that include Francis Uzoho and midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.
Also included are defenders Calvin Bassey and Kevin Akpoguma as well as midfielders Ayodele-Aribo and Alex Iwobi.
A formidable attack is expected following the inclusion of Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Paul Onuachu and Victor Osimhen.
Wing back Tyronne Ebuehi makes a long-awaited return to the fold, as hard-as-nails midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo. Defenders Bruno Onyemaechi and Bright Osayi Samuel (based in Portugal and Turkey respectively) are called up for the first time.
Thursday’s encounter at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon will kick off at 18.45pm Portugal time (19.45pm in Nigeria)
The full list:
Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Watford FC, England); Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)
Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli FC, Italy); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Aris Thessaloniki, Greece)
Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Terem Moffi (Lorient FC, France); Paul Onuachu (Genk FC, Belgium); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest, England)