Nigeria’s probable XI vs Guinea-Bissau: Ejuke in, Awoniyi out as Super Eagles look to tame Wild Dog

The two West African sides meet for the first time in any competition, with Nigeria looking to maintain their 100 percent record at the Afcon

Nigeria later today trade tackles with Guinea-Bissau at the Stade Omnisports Roumde Adjia in the two countries’ first-ever meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles are already through to the next round of the tournament, having secured impressive victories over Egypt and Sudan.

The Wild Dogs, however, have just a point to their name, earned in the goalless draw against Sudan on matchday one.

But a win over Nigeria would brighten the Djurtus’ chances of making it to the next round.

Nigeria’s interim head coach Augustine Eguavoen is aware that the Wild Dogs would give their all to earn a Round of 16 ticket. And he has vowed to present a formidable Super Eagles squad, despite looking to rest some of his key players.

GK: Daniel Akpeyi
This match is Eguavoen’s chance to test another pair of gloves aside from Maduka Okoye’s, and it would be a straight fight between Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho.

Akpeyi should get the nod ahead of his younger compatriot, though, as it could be the Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper’s last appearance at the Afcon.

DF: Tyronne Ebuehi, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Zaidu Sanusi
Nigerians have seen the very best of Ola Aina over the last two matches, and long may it continue into the latter stages of this competition.

But the Torino fullback may need a breather against Guinea-Bissau, allowing Benfica-owned Tyronne Ebuehi to step in and show his qualities as well.

Semi Ajayi could also replace Kenneth Omeruo, who has been excellent, with vice-captain William Troost-Ekong and left-back Zaidu Sanusi retaining their spots.

MF: Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze, Chidera Ejuke
Frank Onyeka is one of the Nigerian stars yet to taste a single minute of action in Cameroon.

But the Brentford midfielder could get the chance to show he is a reliable alternative to Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi.

Expect Joe Aribo to keep his place as coach Eguavoen looks to retain the spine of the Eagles side that has been so pleasing to watch over the last two games.

On the right flank, Samuel Chukwueze still has much to prove despite his well-taken goal against Sudan’s Falcons and his slot is almost guaranteed. 

Chidera Ejuke may replace the lively Moses Simon on the left flank with the exciting Nantes winger likely to be kept out of harm’s way.

FW: Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa
Presently, Taiwo Awoniyi appears to be the Super Eagles’ leading striker, with Almeria’s Umar Sadiq struggling to get to grip with international football.

The Union Berlin man should be rested with either captain Ahmed Musa or Slavia Prague’s Peter Olayinka stepping in as a makeshift striker just in front of Kelechi Iheanacho. 

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