Nigeria will Today face Senegal in the first of two international friendlies lined up for the team in the latest FIFA international window.
The game will be played in London at Barnet FC’s ground aptly named ‘The Hive’ in what should be an entertaining clash of teams who have similar styles.
The Super Eagles and the Teranga Lions will use the game to test their readiness for the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the resumption of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Senegal is looking to get back into gears after a disappointing campaign at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Lions were tipped by many to lift the title, but after a blistering start to the tournament, the were edged out by eventual champions Cameroon on penalties at the quarter-final stage.
Coach Aliou Cisse knows he has to get the Lions back on winning ways for another shot at the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup.
The game against a resurgent Nigerian side will be the proper test for the Teranga Lions who are four places above their Nigerian counterparts on the Fifa rankings.
Cisse has assembled a crack squad that includes Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Kara Mbodji of Anderlecht and Cheikou Kouyate while handing maiden call-ups to Moussa Wagué (Eupen), Adama Mbengue (Orlando City) and ex-France U-20 international Opa Nguette (Metz).
Senegal is third in Group D of the 2018 Africa zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with 3 points from two matches. Cisse will look to change all using the Nigerian game a cue to get his wards ready.
Gernot Rohr has rejuvenated the Nigerian squad since taking over late last year. He has won all his games in charge and seems to have instilled a sense of belief and confidence in the Super Eagles again.
Nigeria is top of Group B of the Africa zone of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers with maximum points from two games, a testament to Rohr’s work with the squad.
With South Africa, Libya and Seychelles as hurdles for a place at Cameroon 2019, the Eagles will definitely fancy their chances of a first Afcon appearance in six years.
Rohr has named a 25 man squad for the two games but will have to do without Chelsea wing back Victor Moses who has withdrawn from the squad.
The trio of Mikel Obi, Brown Ideye and Odion Ighalo who all moved to China in the winter transfer window have been excused from the team but Ahmed Musa, Ogenyi Onazi, Carl Ikeme, Moses Simon and Kenneth Omerou are all included.
There is a first ever call up for Hannover ‘96 man Noah Joel Sanrenren Bazee and Olanrewaju Kayode while Watford’s Isaac Success and Tyrone Ebuehi are finally with the squad after missing out previously due to injury and documentation issues respectively.