Jose Peseiro, the head coach of the Super Eagles, has stated that his squad will cope without its missing superstars when they face Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2026.
He stated this during his pre-match press conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State’s capital, where he expressed confidence that the absence of several key players from the Nigerian side would not prevent his team from winning the matches.
Due to fitness concerns, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, and Zaidu Sanusi were left out of the squad for the qualifiers.
In Nigeria’s friendly against Saudi Arabia last month, Osimhen and Chukwueze both suffered hamstring injuries.
Sanusi, on the other hand, recently returned to action for the Portuguese team FC Porto following a six-week layoff.
Regarding the absences, Peseiro indicated that he has enough quality to handle the World Cup qualifying matches.
“No, Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Zaidu, and others are not fit,” he stated, adding, “but I am only speaking about them because you asked.” I should think about the 23 guys and arrive with more confidence; I don’t care about the others; all I said was that they recover well, so I called them.
“I call all of them all the time, not just Osimhen. You work well, good job,” I tell them, “but when we start camping, our team is this team, no other team.”
On Thursday, the Super Eagles will welcome the Lesotho Likuena at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo before travelling to Rwanda three days later to face Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium.
Super Eagles Hitman, Osimhen Wins Italian League Footballer Of The Year
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has been announced as the award winner for the Italian Footballers’ Association Footballer of the Year for his outstanding performance with the Napolitans last season.
Osimhen’s 26 goals were crucial in the Partenopei winning their first Scudde in 33 years.
Other awards presented during the Monday night presentation were team of the year, coach of the year, club of the year, and goal of the season.
Despite a difficult start to the 2023-24 season and subsequent injury troubles, Osimhen has maintained his outstanding goals-per-game ratio, with six from ten following the 14th game week.
Rafael Leao, Gianluigi Buffon, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have previously received the honour.
Otti Says Abia Is Deliberate About Using Sports To Unite People, Develop Economy
Dr. Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State, has declared that his administration is serious about using sports to connect the people and grow the state’s economy.
Governor Otti made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation from Sports Nigeria, a private-sector initiative aimed at bringing the government and the business sector together to harness talent and develop sports infrastructure in Nigeria.
“We are very deliberate about using sports to unite our people who could support our economy and also to do a few other things that we have mentioned here,” the Governor stated.
He stated that Abia State is endowed with tremendous abilities and promised to support any initiative aimed at harnessing them for the development and growth of the state’s sports industry.
The State Chief Executive Officer revealed that the Nsulu Games Village in Isiala Ngwa North has already been designated as an entertainment and games village.
Dr. Otti went on to say that the state already has a quality production brand that would be given greater attention in terms of manufacturing. He told the team that the details of its presentation would be investigated and areas of interest for collaboration found, and he commended the delegation for its commitment in sports development in the state.
Earlier, while making a presentation to the Governor on a document titled, “Abia State Sports Infrastructure Investment – A Value Proposition”, the Chief Executive Officer, Sports Nigeria and Chairperson, Nigerian Football League, Mrs. Nkechi Obi, said her organisation specialises on facilitating cross sectional alliances to build sports.
She sought the commitment of Abia State Government in providing necessary support for the development of the framework, strategy policy and implementation plans critical to sports infrastructural development, disclosing that Abia stands to benefit bountifully through community empowerment, job creation and economic growth, social cohesion and health wellness.
According to her, everything that is needed for sports development is supposed to be done at the State level and stressed the need for Abia to leverage sports to boost development.
Jurgen Klopp Challenges Goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher To Seize The Opportunity When In Goal
As Liverpool locks horns with LASK Thursday night, Jurgen Klopp wants goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher to seize his chance when deputising for Alisson in the Europa League.
Alisson sustained an injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.
Kelleher has featured five times this season across the Carabao Cup and Europa League.
“He [Kelleher] would have played anyway,” Klopp said.
“He deserves his opportunity to get a few more games and hopefully he can show his full potential.”
The Republic of Ireland international has started three games in the Europa League this campaign, conceding five goals, but the Reds top Group E as they prepare to face bottom side LASK at Anfield.
Kelleher has made 25 appearances across all competitions since graduating from Liverpool’s academy to make his senior debut in 2019.
He is also likely to be handed further game time against Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday before trips to Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, and Union St-Gilloise in the Europa League over the next fortnight, while Manchester United visit Anfield on 17 December.
Liverpool are also set to be without forward Diogo Jota after the Portuguese limped off at the Etihad.