Predicted Super Eagles XI against Sao Tome: Osimhen and Chukwueze in front; Torunarigha to make debut
The Super Eagles of Nigeria play Sao Tome and Principe on Sunday in their final game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday, September 10th, Soccernet reports.
Nigeria have already qualified for the tournament scheduled to be held in Ivory Coast next year. Still, they would be looking to end the qualifying series on a high when they play the Falcons and True Parrots at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Coach Jose Peseiro invited 23 players to camp in Uyo, and three of them are new boys. He invited Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface, Gent goal machine Gift Orban, and his teammate Jordan Torunarigha.
Sao Tome were hit for ten in the first leg, and a similar scoreline would be expected in this second leg. As such, it is unlikely that Peseiro would tweak his starting eleven a lot.
The last time Nigeria played a game, Adebayo Adeleye manned the sticks in the absence of Francis Uzoho. Against Sao Tome and Principe, it is unlikely that the status quo will change, as Uzoho has not gotten a lot of game time recently. So Adeleye should be the goalkeeper this time.
In central defence, Peseiro could pair Torunarigha and William Troost-Ekong. Troost-Ekong would captain the team, so he has to start. Because of the gulf in quality between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe, there would be no better time to give Torunarigha his first taste of African football. Then, the fullbacks would be Ola Aina and Jamilu Collins.
In midfield, a trio of Wilfred Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, and Frank Onyeka is expected. Iwobi could have featured instead of Aribo, but he is currently unavailable as he is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Then, in the attack, Victor Osimhen will keep his shirt as the top 9, and he will be flanked by Samuel Chukwueze and Moses Simon.
Taiwo Awoniyi and Victor Boniface would get run-ins in the second half. But Orban may have to wait for another time before he gets his Super Eagles debut.