Match preview: Saudi Arabia vs Nigeria - Super Eagles seek to outwit Asian Falcons

Match preview: Saudi Arabia vs Nigeria - Super Eagles seek to outwit Asian Falcons

  • Nigeria will be slight favourites to win when the Super Eagles lock horns with Saudi Arabia at the Estádio Municipal de Portimão on Friday, October 13.
  • The Super Eagles arrive for this international friendly match on the back of a crushing [6-0] win over Sao Tome and Principe last month in the final match of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

That win at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo was the third on the bounce for head coach Jose Peseiro's men, with the team having defeated Sierra Leone [2-3] and Guinea-Bissau [0-1] in June and March, respectively.

Despite scoring ten goals in their last three games, the Super Eagles are far from reaching their attacking potential.

The three-time African champions boast one of the best attacks in world football at the moment, with head coach Jose Peseiro able to call on the talents of Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Terem Moffi, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Taiwo Awoniyi and Gift Orban.

Free-scoring Awoniyi and Orban are unavailable for this fixture due to injury, but that would not cause coach Peseiro any sleepless nights.

Osimhen, Boniface, and Moffi have accounted for 22 goals combined in all club competitions, barely two months into the 2023/24 season, and coach Peseiro must be savouring the prospects of unleashing all three strikers against Saudi Arabia.

For Saudi Arabian fans, this is not the best time for their national team to face the Super Eagles.

The euphoria that surrounded the appointment of former Italian national team manager, Roberto Mancini has faded after he led Saudi Arabia to back-to-back defeats to Costa Rica and South Korea at St James’ Park in his first international break in charge last month.

The Green Falcons have suffered six successive defeats since their group-stage exit at the 2022 FIFA World Cup last year.

However, the three-time Asian Cup winners can produce the occasional jaw-dropping performance, and many will not forget quickly that they are the only team to beat Argentina at Qatar 2022.

Hence, while Nigeria will be expected to claim a win, it would not be a walk in the park for the Super Eagles.

Only once have Nigeria played against Saudi Arabia at the senior level, with both teams settling for a goalless draw in 2010.

The match between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia on Friday, October 1, is expected to kick off by 5 p.m. local time.

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