Three-time African champions, the Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to battle the Mambas of Mozambique this evening in Portimao, Portugal as part of their preparations for the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Championship in Cote d’ Ivoire.
It will be recalled that the Super Eagles had drawn 2-2 with Saudi Arabia last Friday in another friendly match that was played at the venue of today’s match.
Victory over the Mambas will give the Super Eagles a positive mindset ahead of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe next month.
Although forward Kelechi Iheanacho, who changed the tenor of the game and netted a spectacular second goal against the Green Falcons and Victor Osimhen will not be available to Coach Jose Peseiro in today’s friendly match, Coach Jose Peseiro is still confident of victory.
The Portuguese has insisted that he has a clutch of forwards who can send packing the southern Africans in their only fifth-ever clash with Nigeria at senior level.
“We will miss Kelechi and Victor, but we have other good players who can make Nigeria proud. I look at the bench and see players who can step up and take their chances.”
The clash with the Mambas is the last gathering for the Super Eagles before the race to the 2026 FIFA World Cup begins, in which they host the Crocodiles of Lesotho and then fly to play Zimbabwe’s Warriors away, all within a few days in November.
In the absence of Iheanacho and Osimhen, Peseiro will have to cast his lot with Terem Moffi, Victor Boniface, Samuel Chukwueze, Sadiq Umar and Moses Simon, and hope that Alex Iwobi comes to the party in his playmaking role to supply ammunition to the forwards.
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Jordan Torunarigha and Chidozie Awaziem, and midfielders Frank Onyeka, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Raphael Onyedika did not taste action against the Saudis, and could prove to be Peseiro’s aces against the Mambas at the Estadio Municipal de Portimäo on Monday.