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2023 AFCON: Nigeria tweak formation ahead of Equatorial Guinea clash

Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, has tinkered with the team’s formation ahead of their first group game of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against…

Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, has tinkered with the team’s formation ahead of their first group game of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Equatorial Guinea.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the changes to the team are necessary due to injuries picked up by some key players and the absence of Kelechi Iheanacho.

Nigeria will play with only one fit striker – Victor Osimhen – with Sadiq Umar, Victor Boniface and Kelechi Iheanacho all out of the first game.

Umar and Boniface were replaced by the duo of Paul Onuachu and Terem Moffi due to injury.

However, the late call-ups are unlikely to make it on time for the opening game.

Also, Iheanacho who is recovering from a knock, is expected to fly in from the UK today (Saturday;) a day to the game, which effectively rules him out of the match.

During the team’s training session on Friday monitored by NAN, Osimhen was kept aside from all physical contact; a precautionary move as the only fit striker in the team.

He was also instructed to avoid going into any tackle or aggressive contact in the team’s remaining training sessions ahead of the game.

Team Captain, Ahmed Musa, was deployed to the role of a backup striker.

Initially picked to play in his natural role as a winger, Musa is now expected to go into the first game as the deputy striker in the absence of Moffi, Iheanacho and Onuachu.

The three-time African champions will begin their quest for a fourth title on Sunday against Equatorial Guinea, before facing Ivory Coast on Jan. 18.

Their last group game is against Guinea-Bissau on Jan. 22. (NAN)

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