Lead newspaper in Lesotho, the Lesotho Times is elated that some key players of the Super Eagles will be missing when their national team, Likuena face Nigeria in Uyo on 16 November.
It titled its story “Relief as key Nigerian players are ruled out of Likuena tie”
It reported that “top Nigerian players that will miss the Likuena clash are AC Milan forward Samuel Chukwueze, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Nottingham Forest’s influential player Taiwo Awoniyi, Bruno Onyemaechi a defender at Portuguese club, Boavista and Leicester City’s key midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi.
“The Super Eagles are battling to overcome these injury concerns as they prepare to face Likuena who are eager to cause an upset at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in the state of Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
”The Super Eagles are ranked number 40 on the FIFA Coca-Cola world ranking while Likuena are ranked number 153.
”The injury concerns are threatening to disrupt Super Eagles’s coach Jose Peseiro’s hunt for a World Cup ticket after the team missed out on the 2022 World Cup.
“Reports from Nigeria suggest that Chukwueze is set to miss approximately one month of action due to a left hamstring injury sustained while on international duty with the Super Eagles.
”His absence is a significant blow, given his recent impactful cameo in Nigeria’s 6-0 victory against São Tomé and Príncipe.
”Osimhen, the Napoli forward has been sidelined since suffering an injury during the Super Eagles’ match against the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia.
“He has missed four games for Napoli. His possible replacement is Gift Orban, who is struggling with form at Belgian side, KAA Gent.
“Orban however, silenced his critics after he netted a sensational winning goal for his club on Sunday. The 21-year-old had come under heavy criticism of late after a run of 10 matches without a goal for Gent. It has been an unusual and testing time for the Nigerian whose place is not guaranteed anymore in the Gent starting eleven.
“Reports say although Awoniyi recently returned from a three-week injury layoff, the 26-year-old striker is still regaining full fitness with Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper uncertain about his readiness to start, particularly for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifiers.
“Defender Onyemaechi is another Super Eagles player in doubt for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers after sustaining a muscle injury in training with Portuguese club Boavista.
“Onyemaechi missed Boavista’s recent league match due to the muscle issue. He has featured in the Eagles’ last three games but faces uncertainty for the upcoming matches.
“Ndidi’s absence could be a significant setback for the Super Eagles when they meet Lukuena, as he plays a crucial role in the team’s midfield and is a key figure for Leicester City. He is currently ruled out for a month.”