Super Eagles master dribbler Ejuke tipped to make full Champions League debut for Antwerp against Barcelona
The Nigerian international struggled to get going at the Belgian side, but he is slowly getting back to his brilliant best
Royale Antwerp will hand Chidera Ejuke his full club debut in the UEFA Champions League when they face visiting Barcelona at the Bosuilstadion in Deurne tonight, Soccernet.ng understands.
Antwerp are already out of the competition, having lost all of their five games, and sit bottom of a Group that also has Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Ejuke featured as a substitute in three of those games, accumulating only 74 minutes in defeats to Porto (home and away) and Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Super Eagles star struggled to find his feet in October and early November when Antwerp faced Porto twice.
However, he was The Reds’ best player in the 1-0 loss at Shakhtar Donetsk by a country mile when he came off the bench at halftime.
Ejuke posted the third-best dribbling statistics in Europe on that matchday five as Antwerp sought in vain for an equaliser.
The former CSKA Moscow has scored two goals in his last three league games, and Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel is poised to hand him a first starting shirt in the Champions League against, as per Gva.
Barcelona have already sealed qualification to the knockout rounds of Europe’s premier club competition and will finish top of the group if they avoid a defeat versus Antwerp.
In their first-ever appearance in the Champions League, Royal Antwerp, though, want to bow out on a high, and coach Mark van Bommel is expected to put forward his best eleven to conquer the Spanish guests.
Elsewhere, Zaidu Sanusi and Porto will join Barcelona in the next round should they avoid losing to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Peter Olayinka’s Red Star Belgrade will host Manchester City with the intention of handing the champions their first defeat in the competition.
Samuel Chukwueze and AC Milan are the guests of Newcastle, with both teams needing to win to stand a chance of sneaking past second-place PSG into the knockout round alongside Borussia Dortmund.