The Super Eagles of Nigeria have stepped up preparation for their upcoming African Cup of Nation’s qualifiers against the Leon Stars of Sierra Leone.
With the full compliment of the 23 players invited for the forthcoming qualifiers, the Super Eagles will be looking to regain the top spot of their qualifying group.
Guinea Bissau currently occupy the top of the qualifying group, courtesy of their 1-0 win over Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday.
Looking forward to the Sunday’s clash, the Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, told reporters in Lagos that he is positive that his side can win in Monrovia, even though he expect a tough game from the Leon Stars. He said, “We can beat Sierra Leone if we play with 11 together. Sometimes it is not easy at the end of the season when these players come with different context and situations in their health.”
A win for Nigeria at the Samuel Kanyon Doe stadium in paynesville, Monrovia, will return them to top of the standing.
Recent meeting between Nigeria and their west African neighbours have always been a hotly contested affair. Their most memorable game came in the last week of 2020, when the Leon Stars memorably fought from 4-1 down to earn a draw at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Benin city, in the last African Cup of Nations qualifiers. They also played out a goalless draw at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, few days later.
Both teams also locked horns on day one of the ongoing African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, last year where the Super Eagles piped them to a 2-1 win, thanks to goals from Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi.
In a press interview session, Super Eagles’ winger, Samuel Chukwueze was also hopeful of Nigeria’s chances of making it to the finals, ESPN reports.
“Nigerians should expect a win because we have to qualify for the next African Cup of Nations.
“They should just book their tickets because we are going to win and go there (to the finals in ivory coast),” Chukwueze said ahead of the game.
He also said, “We have to win the AFCON for sure, because we have great young talents and we have young players who are actually ready to fight.
“For me, I need to win a trophy with the Super Eagles because I cannot play to the end of my career without winning any trophy with the Super Eagles. This is our time.”
The Super Eagles, with a forward line led by Serie A golden boot winner Victor Osimhen, who is also the leading scorer in the qualifying series with 5 goals are looking forward to securing their qualification with one game to spare on Sunday evening.