Brazil assistant coach Cleber Xavier feels Everton forward, Alex Iwobi is the man to watch out for when his team faces Nigeria in an international friendly match the National Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on Sunday, reports goal.com.
The two sides will be meeting for the second time ever, having previously played against each other in 2003 when Brazil won 3-0 in Abuja.Nigeria arrive in Singapore with in-form forwards Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis of Club Brugge and Lille’s Victor Osimhen, but Tite’s assistant coach Xavier has picked Iwobi as Nigeria’s danger man.
“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton,” Xavier told BBC Sport.“He is the link in the counter-attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.”Before playing the Super Eagles, Brazil will first clash with Senegal on Thursday.
Xavier feels Nigeria and Senegal provide the challenge they need to prepare for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign
“Nigeria defend less than Senegal. The Senegalese are more about positioning with [Idrissa] Gueye marking strongly,” he added.“These two friendlies and the two November friendlies will allow us to test new players and to adjust and tweak some tactical details in attack and defence.“We did this in the preparation for the Copa America. We succeeded in the objective of winning and did so unbeaten.”For Nigeria and Senegal, they will be preparing for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which begin in November.
Meanwhile, Ola Aina has been ruled out of the match against Brazil. According to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Aina picked up an injury after a domestic accident and will not be available for this weekend’s clash as a result. Aina has made 10 appearances for Italian Serie A club Torino across all competitions this season, coming off the bench in the club’s goalless draw at home to Napoli this past weekend. Nigeria return to action for the first time since holding Ukraine to a 2-2 draw in Dnipro, having ended third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in Egypt in July.
Aina played the full 90 minutes in Ukraine, having featured five times at the 2019 AFCON, including the bronze medal match in which the Super Eagles beat Tunisia 1-0 thanks to an Odion Ighalo goal. The players in the Nigerian camp, which opened yesterday in Singapore, are goalkeepers Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); and Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany).
Also in the team are defenders Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Tyronne Ebuehi (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England).Iwobi (Everton FC, England) leads the midfield, which also has Anderson Esiti (PAOK Salonica, Greece); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); and Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain).
The forwards are Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Efosa Solomon-Otabor (PFC CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); and Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic).