As Nigeria gets ready to battle Sierra Leone Tuesday evening, there are a host of expectations from fans of the game, especially as the visiting Sierra Leone side continues to bask in the Euphoria of their comeback 4-4 draw with the Super Eagles.
Nigeria comes into the big fixture seeking redemption but the game promises to be tough as injury has taken a toll on the Super Eagles side.
Stars like Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal), and Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge) are nursing injuries ahead of the match.
Here are significant actions to expect from the Super Eagles as the game unfolds.
Certain Personnel Changes
The team is expected to be reshuffled ahead of the match. The likes of Kevin Ufuoma Akpoguma struggled to perform on the pitch having played in an unfamiliar position. Fans criticized his role in the right-back position when Ola Aina and Tyronne Ebuehi are all available in the right full-back position.
With Leon Balogun injured, either of the second-half substitutes, Semi Ajayi, Kevin Akpoguma or Chidozie Awaziem could come into the fray in the Super Eagles back lines.
There could also be alterations in the attacking set up of the team with Victor Osimhen out with injury and Ahmed Musa not living up to the Captain quota with his form on Friday. Chidera Ejuke and Kelechi Iheanacho may appear in the attacking position.
Improved Midfield Performance
The Super Eagles raced into a 4-0 lead thanks to the exploit of Alex Iwobi, Oghenekaro Etebo and FC Porto left-back Zaidu Sanusi at some point in the match but they let the team down due to their poor showings in this second half.
The entire midfield took their foot off the pedal after the intermission, this allowed the Leone stars to crawl back into the game. Such poor showings have raised an eyebrow in the Nigerian football scene with some calling for former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel to come out of his international retirement to help the team.
But with unproven midfield showings on Tuesday, the Eagles would be fine for sure as there is quality in the middle three available to the Super Eagles.
Maximum Three Points
This is the major interest of Nigeria as a football Nation as it prepares for the second match against the Leone Stars. Anything short of a win would awaken the fury of soccer-loving Nigerian while the hammer would befall some sections of the technical department and its intermediary.
However, the three points would atone for Eagles mess at the weekend bearing in mind the possible chance of the team qualifying for the AFCON with the vital three points at stake.