The Super Eagles of Nigeria will on Thursday face Senegal in the first of two international friendlies lined up for the team in the latest FIFA international window.
The game will be played in London at Barnet FC’s ground aptly named ‘The Hive’ in what should be an entertaining clash of teams who have similar styles.
The Super Eagles and the Teranga Lions will use the game to test their readiness for the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the resumption of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Senegal is looking to get back into gears after a disappointing campaign at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Lions were tipped by many to lift the title, but after a blistering start to the tournament, the were edged out by eventual champions Cameroon on penalties at the quarter-final stage.
Coach Aliou Cisse knows he has to get the Lions back on winning ways for another shot at the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup.
The game against a resurgent Nigerian side will be the proper test for the Teranga Lions who are four places above their Nigerian counterparts on the Fifa rankings.
Cisse has assembled a crack squad that includes Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Kara Mbodji of Anderlecht and Cheikou Kouyate while handing maiden call-ups to Moussa Wagué (Eupen), Adama Mbengue (Orlando City) and ex-France U-20 international Opa Nguette (Metz).
Senegal is third in Group D of the 2018 Africa zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with 3 points from two matches. Cisse will look to change all using the Nigerian game a cue to get his wards ready.
Gernot Rohr has rejuvenated the Nigerian squad since taking over late last year. He has won all his games in charge and seems to have instilled a sense of belief and confidence in the Super Eagles again.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for Gabon 2017 after missing the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea but look well on course for a place at Russia 2018.