Matches Involving Nigerian Players Worth Watching This Weekend

Published: January 19, 2019
Matches Involving Nigerian Players Worth Watching This WeekendThere will be many league and Cup games around the  world this weekend and there will be Nigerian presence in some of these games.

Izuchukwu Okosi looks at the matches involving Nigerian players worth watching

1. Arsenal vs Chelsea

With due respect to the other English Premier league sides, the biggest game of the weekend in England and perhaps across Europe is the London battle between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium.

You may also call it the battle of the 4th and 5th placed teams in the table.

Arsenal and Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi is expected to play a key role in the Gunners retaining their heartwarming record of having not lost at home this season since their defeat, the 2-0 loss to Manchester City on Match day 1 of the season.

Iwobi was good under Arsene Wenger but has been better since the appointment of Unai Emery. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan recuperating from injury, the Hale End Academy graduate will possibly start on Saturday. Kick off time is 6.30pm Nigerian time.

2. Wolves vs Leicester

Another game on Saturday is the match between 11th placed Wolverhampton Wanderers and 8th placed Leicester City at the Molineux Stadium.

Super Eagles duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho will most likely be on the match day squad but its Ndidi that is expected to start while Iheanacho could come off the bench.

These days not much is expected of Iheanacho but Ndidi's reputation as one of Europe's most brilliant defensive midfielders despite THAT anomaly of CAF Best XI of 2018 continues to soar higher.

 3. Barcelona vs Leganes

La Liga leaders Barcelona will host Leganes parading Nigeria international Kenneth Omeruo at the Camp Nou at 8.45 pm Nigerian time on Sunday.

Omeruo has finally gone to a club that trusts in him and that can only be a good news for his club and international football careers.

Leganes shocked Barcelona 2-1 on 26 September 2018 and Lionel Messi and co will be all too keen to serve their visitors a a cold vengeance at the Camp Nou. Will Omeruo have a barnstorming performance and make Nigerians proud? We all hope so.

4. Galatasary vs Ankaragucu

Henry Onyekuru has scored six league games in 15 Turkish Super Lig matches and will be hard pressed to extend his tally this season.

Galatasary are fifth on the table and hope to climb further up with a win. They will be relying on the ruthlessness of their front line and the Nigerian will be on the forefront of that quest.

This year is the Africa Cup of Nations year and that could be an extra motivation for Onyekuru.

This game kicks off at 5pm Nigerian time on Saturday.

5. Roma vs Torino

Sixth place Roma will host Torino 3pm Nigerian time on Saturday and Super Eagles defender Ola Aina will be in action.

The versatile player has been in promising form of late and one of the key battles in prospect in Saturday's game will be Aina versus Javier Pastore.

The attacking bombardment could be too much for Torino who have lost nine of their 10 away matches against Roma with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko also expected to start for the Giallorossi..

6. Udinese vs Parma

Udinese won their last game of 2018 against Cagliari before the winter break and after five games without a win while Parma are in the bottom half of the Serie A 12 points above the teams in the relegation places.

William Troost-Ekong will be deployed in the centre of a three man defence in manager Julio Velázquez's favoured 3-5-2 formation.

The Super Eagles defender will be seeking his 20th Serie A game of the season.

7. ASEC Mimosas vs Lobi Stars

Rounding off our matches involving Nigerian players to watch this weekend is the CAF Champions League match day 2 clash between Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas and Nigeria's representatives Lobi.

Lobi defeated South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in their first Group A game of the competition while ASEC were thumped 5-2 by Morocco's Wydad Casablanca so we all expect a grudge battle.

Striker Sunday Adetunji produced a classy performance when the Pride of Benue won at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu against the South Africans and will be the star attraction when the team hit Abidjan.

Expect him to get a goal or cause all sorts of troubles for their hosts.

Izuchukwu Okosi

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