Permutations are rolling in the favour of several fringe players of the Super Eagles to start Tuesday’s international friendly against Uganda, with Isaac Success and Victor Osimhen getting spots in attack, Daniel Akpeyi in goal and Semi Ajayi in defence.
Footballlive.ng can report that, with the countdown hotter towards the encounter between two teams that qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday, the gaffers are set for some tinkering tactics.
Both sides enter the tie at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba with AFCON 2019 tickets in their bags, meaning they will be in celebration mode.
However, last time out, March 2015, it was a 1-0 win for Uganda against Nigeria at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, and The Cranes believe they can replicate that feat.
Coach Sebatien Desabre and his wards are in Asaba in high spirits, with most of the lads who pulled off the AFCON 2019 qualification available for Tuesday’s game, except their captain, Dennis Oyango.
On the other hand, Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has been tipped to make several changes to the starting line up that featured on Saturday against South Africa at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.
Pundits have pointed out a number of possible changes Rohr will make from the starting line up that secured Nigeria a ticket to AFCON 2019 with a 1-1 draw against South Africa on Saturday.
Daniel Akpeyi was very close to starting in goal against South Africa on Saturday, until Rohr had a late change of mind with Ikechukwu Ezenwa getting the nod.
Akpeyi will now get the chance to prove his worth in Asaba, as he aims to regain the first choice gloves he lost after conceding two goals at home against South Africa in June 2017.
Rohr is also set to revert to a back-four, as against the back-three formation that struggled against Bafana Bafana on Saturday.
With the absences of Leon Aderemi Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Ola Aina reducing his options in defence, Rohr will have to look towards a couple of rookies and the home-based players on his stand-by list.
Rotherham United defender, Semi Ajayi will get the chance to prove his abilities in the heart of Nigeria’s defence, with Olamilekan Adeleye and Bryan Idowu also set to start, after the withdrawals of Balogun and Omeruo from the squad in Asaba.
In midfield, John Ugochukwu Ogu or Oghenekaro Etebo will be rested for Mikel Ndubuisi Agu, who has been in fine form for Vitoria Setubal, where he is on a season long loan from fellow-Portuguese side, FC Porto.
In attack, Kelechi Iheanacho didn’t have the best of game against South Africa on Saturday and is likely to lose his sport to Watford’s Isaac Success who was a substitute on Saturday.
He looked lively within the few minutes he had on the FNB Stadium pitch, even looking closer to notching a goal had Ahmed Musa not snatched the ball from him to hit target with what the referee ruled out as ‘no-goal,’ and Success is set to get a role at the expense of Iheanacho.
Also upfront, Samuel Chukwueze or Victor Osimhen will get their time to shine, and maybe both Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup stars will be on at the same time.