Saudi Arabia vs Nigeria: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head, telecast
Mancini will be looking for a better end result in this interesting friendly to be played in Portugal
After the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage exit, the Saudi Arabia national football team haven’t been quite able to get things going their way. The Saudi side have won only one game against the Yemen national football team while losing all the last six games they have played. With former Italy national team boss Roberto Mancini given the reigns in August end, they will hope for a better display this time around.
The Nigeria national football team will be going into this friendly against the Saudi Arabia team with much ease of mind. They have finished Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations qualification as table toppers. In their final group game, a 6-0 humbling of São Tomé and Príncipe national football team was recorded. After the Saudi fixture, Nigeria have another friendly against the Mozambique national team before they set foot in the World Cup African qualifiers in November.
Friday, 13 October 2023 at 5:00 PM BST (9:30 PM IST)
Location: Estádio Municipal de Portimão
Saudi Arabia (in all competitions): L-L-L-L-L
Nigeria (in all competitions): W-W-W-L-L
Players to Watch
Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)
Even though Al Hilal have signed top players from across Europe like Neymar, Malcom and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Salem Al-Dawsari still fares well alongside them. In the Saudi Pro League, the left winger has played 9 games. In those games, the 32-year-old netted 6 times while also providing an assist. Most notably, his goal gave the Saudi team a 2-1 win against Lionel Messi‘s Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)
The player had a sensational 2022-23 season. His 26 goals won him the Serie A Golden Boot which also aided in his team SSC Napoli‘s victory in the competition. The player was on many clubs’ transfer wish in the summer transfer window but the Naples-based club managed to keep hold of him. Victor Osimhen scored a hat trick for the Super Eagles in the last game and will be a key player against the Saudi team.
- The last time both sides met was back in May 2010. The game ended 0-0 in an international friendly
- The Saudi Arabia team will be looking to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat
- Nigeria are on three consecutive wins where they scored 10 goals while conceding only 2
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Injury & Team News
The Green Falcons’ new head coach was seen deploying the 4-3-3 formation in the September international break and is expected to go with the same. The Saudi side seemingly made progress under Mancini given they lost just 1-0 against South Korea in the last game. Salem Al-Dawsari will keep his spot as the player on 7 goal contributions in 9 club games.
For the Super Eagles, Victor Osimhen will spearhead the attack once again. The striker bagged a hat trick in the last national game and will be eager to continue on that. This time though he will not be partnered with Taiwo Awoniyi, as the player is sidelined with injury. Bayer 04 Leverkusen‘s Victor Boniface is expected to partner with Osimhem in the forward duo role in a 4-4-2 formation. Also, Olan Aina’s injury will see him replaced by Tyronne Ebuehi.
Head to Head
Total Matches – 1
Saudi Arabia wins – 0
Nigeria wins – 0
Draws – 1
Saudi Arabia predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Al Owais (GK); Al-Shahrani, Al Bulaihi, Tambakti, Abdulhamid; Kanno, Al-Khaibari, N. Al Dawsari; S. Al-Dawsari, Alhamddan, Ghareeb
Nigeria predicted lineup (4-4-2):
Uzoho (GK); Onyemaechi, Bassey, Ajayi, Ebuehi; Lookman, Ndidi, Onyeka, Iheanacho; Osimhen, Boniface
Match Prediction for Saudi Arabia vs Nigeria
Roberto Mancini was unable to give the Saudi Arabia team a win in the September international break. The manager was fairly new at that point and probably has figured out a lot about his side after being on the touchline in the last two games. The Nigeria team are in good form and high on confidence. Even their last game was a 6-0 win. Though this is a friendly, the match will be interesting. The Super Eagles are expected to continue their winning run while Mancini’s men will surely give them a tough fight.
Prediction: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Nigeria
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