Champions League: Nigerian Stars Gun For Glory As Group Stage Kicks Off
Only three Nigerians have gone all the way to win the prestigious Champions League trophy.
The Nigeria international could feature as a striker against the Russian champions following the absence of Michael Krmencik.“I can play there if I have to. But I am not a striker. Put that in large letters above your interview. I am a flank player. ”
For many, Dennis and his Club Brugge teammates have a decent chance in Group F where they are grouped along with Borussia Dortmund and Lazio.Odion IghaloAfter the earlier excitement that greeted his loan move from China to Manchester United, not much has been heard from the former Super Eagles star, who has been battling for playing time with the Red Devils.
With his latest loan spell expected to expire in January, Ighalo is not expected to be available if the Red Devils go all the way in this competition.The 31-year old has never played in the group stage of the Champions League and would be glad to at least break that jinx before his impending return to China. headtopics.com
Thankfully, Man United manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer has given Ighalo reasons to be optimistic; having said in his pre-match conference that the Nigerian striker is a very important member of the Manchester United squad despite the reduced playing time.
Ighalo is included in United’s 21-man squad for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League matchday one tie against Paris Saint-Germain.The former Super Eagles striker has so far made just three appearances for Solskjaer’s side in all competitions this season but is yet to score.
Azubuike OkechukwuUnfortunately, the former Nigeria U-23 captain is nursing an injury and remains doubtful for his Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir, who are making their first-ever appearance in the Champions League.Besides Azubike’s injury, things are not looking generally well with Istanbul Basaksehir
After winning the Turkish Super Lig for the first time in their history last season, the club have made a disastrous start to defending their title this season and are presently in the relegation zone.Saturday’s 2-0 win at Trabzonspor was their first win of the season after three defeats and a draw, prior to the weekend’s desperately-needed victory. headtopics.com
The chances of Istanbul Basaksehir first against last season’s semi finalist, RB Leipzig on Tuesday night and thereafter against other Group H opponents PSG and Manchester United, does not allow for any optimism except the unthinkable happens.Zaidu Sanusi
After his impressive debut with the Super Eagles in the international friendly games against Algeria and then Tunisia, the defender will be hoping for a breakout season with the Portuguese giants.Sanusi is a greenhorn in the Champions League but the potential of the 23-year old saw Porto splashing out the big bucks to bring him over to bolster their options in the backline.
While Sanusi may not be guaranteed a large chunk of playing time, the antecedents of Porto in the Champions League and their present strength should make one pencil them for progress beyond this group stage.Porto will be starting with a difficult trip to England to face Manchester City before they confront other Group C opponents in Olympiacos and Marseille.
Frank OnyekaAnother debutant with the Super Eagles, the exciting midfielder will want to make the most of the big stage the Champions League offers.Onyeka and his FC Midtjylland worked their way through the qualifiers before landing in the group stage of the Champions League. headtopics.com
ADVERTISEMENTThe 22-year old played all four games in the qualifiers and has one goal to his name.Though he is doubtful for the group opener against free-scoring Italian side Atalanta on Tuesday, Onyeka is expected to play a pivotal role in the campaign of FC Midtjylland in the Champions League.Read more: Premium Times »
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SoyinkaJr Like my comment, I will follow. But, make sure you follow back. EndSARS EndBadGoveranceInNigeria Odion Ighalo is nothing but a squad player at Man U. Don’t expect him to play any serious role in Man U’s UCL campaign.
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