On Thursday, Nigeria will play the Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos in a FIFA World Cup qualifier for 2022.
The Super Eagles are currently in first place in Group C, having earned maximum points in all of their matches. The visitors are at the bottom of the standings with only one point after two games.
Nigeria defeated Cape Verde 2-1 in their last international match in September. In the first half, Victor Osimhen equalized for the West African giants after Dylan Tavares had placed the island nation ahead in the 19th minute. Gernot Rohr's side secured the victory thanks to an own goal by Kenny Santos in the second half.
On home soil, the Central African Republic was defeated 1-0 by Liberia. In the 86th minute, Kpah Sherman scored the match-winning goal.
This will be the two countries' first international meeting. Nigeria will aim for all three points in order to improve their prospects of qualifying for the third round of the qualifiers.
For the doubleheader against the Central African Republic, coach Gernot Rohr selected 23 players.
Veteran stalwarts such as Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong lead the team, while team captain Ahmed Musa is on the verge of joining FIFA's century club.
Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu, two in-form strikers, will lead the line, with Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho also selected.
Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi, and Alex Iwobi, all of whom are injured in the Premier League, are notable absentees.
Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal has yet to return from a long-term injury suffered in the Europa League semifinal in April. Calvin Bassey, a defender for Rangers, was called up to the Super Eagles for the first time, while Frank Onyeka, who had a strong start to the season with Brentford, was called up again.
Here is my predicted line-up for the match.
GOALKEEPER & DEFENDERS:
Maduka Okoye (GK); Jamilu Collins, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Ola Aina.
Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo, Innocent Bonke.
Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen.
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