The Super Eagles play their first match in almost a year when they take on African champions Algeria in an international friendly game at the Worthersee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria.
Nigeria’s last match was Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over Lesotho last November. The clash against Algeria is the first time both sides are playing since the North Africans defeated the Super Eagles in the semi-finals of Afcon 2019.
Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, has had to make changes to his squad after Victor Osimhen, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo all withdrew.
Still, most of his trusted stalwarts are present in Austria camp, while seven players will be hoping to make their international bow on Friday night.
Soccernet takes a look at the lineup Rohr will likely name tonight. The German has played the 4-3-3 formation most times, and it is unlikely that changes tonight.
With his main rivals out, Maduka Okoye could be in line for his first start since he came into the squad. The 20-year-old has just one substitute appearance, and that was in the 1-1 draw against Brazil.
He is expected to battle it out with Francis Uzoho for the number one spot. But with Uzoho not Invited, Okoye has the chance to make his case.
He will, however, face competition from Mathew Yakubu, who was handed a first call-up. The SKF Sered goalkeeper will play in one of the two friendlies as stated by Rohr, and assured performance could see him come into contention for the goalkeeping position.
In defence, Rohr is spoilt for choice, but he is likely to go with William Troost Ekong and Semi Ajayi as his two centre-backs. Ola Aina should slot into the right-back role while Jamilu Collins takes up the left-back spot.
Kevin Akpoguma just switched allegiance and could make a cameo. Likewise, new Porto signing, Zaidu Sanusi could make his debut later in the game.
The Super Eagles are missing the services of Wilfred Ndidi, which means Frank Onyeka could get a look in for his international debut.
The FC Midtjylland star is tipped as Nigeria’s next midfield general and has the perfect opportunity to show why he is rated highly. Onyeka should partner Vitória de Guimarães Mikel Agu and Everton’s Alex Iwobi in the middle of the park.
On the flanks, Chukwueze looks likely to be deployed on the right-wing while Moses Simon takes up the other wing. Samuel Kalu is one of Rohr’s favourite players, but he may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Meanwhile, exciting winger, Chidera Ejuke is expected to provide competition and should get his chance later in the game.
Upfront, Cyriel Dessers could lead the line, especially with Osimhen out. The Genk forward is yet to reproduce last season’s form, but he is expected to get the nod ahead of club teammate, Paul Onuachu.
According to Rohr, Onuachu, who is a replacement for Osimhen, needs to adapt to the team’s style to get more chances.
Probable Lineup: Maduka Okoye, Ola Aina, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Jamilu Collins, Frank Onyeka, Mikel Agu, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Cyriel Dessers (4-3-3).