Porto team news: The likely player to replace Zaidu in starting lineup against Arsenal

Published: February 21, 2024
Porto team news: The likely player to replace Zaidu in starting lineup against Arsenal

Porto manager Sérgio Conceição will not be able to count on the services of Zaidu Sanusi when his side take on Premier League giants Arsenal in a Champions League round of 16 first leg clash at the Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday night.


The Nigeria international has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and will go under the knife in the coming days. 


In his first game after international duty with the Super Eagles at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Zaidu completely ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament and the external lateral ligament of his left knee and the initial prognosis is at least a six-month layoff. 


According to the projected starting lineup published by Portuguese sports daily O Jogo, the likely player to replace Zaidu at left-back in tonight's Champions League clash against the Gunners is Brazilian defender Wendell.


Wendell has no injury issues and was left out of Porto's last league game against Estrela da Amadora only because he was serving a suspension.


Wendell's selection as Zaidu's stand-in comes as no surprise, as he deputized for the Nigerian during his absence at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, earning seven consecutive starts in the Liga Portugal.

Additionally, Wendell started two games during the Champions League group stage, facing Barcelona and Royal Antwerp, as Zaidu was recovering from a previous muscle injury.


It's worth noting that Porto boasts an undefeated record at home against Arsenal, having won two matches and drawn one in three previous UEFA encounters at the Estádio do Dragão.





Igho Kingsley 



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