Three Super Eagles Stars To Watch As UCL, Europa League Return

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for some Nigerian stars after the demands of the international break, which saw the Super Eagles sealed qualification for the next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

And more such actions are expected as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League take centre stage in Europe.

Here are five Nigerian internationals who could influence proceedings for their respective days in the coming days.

Zaidu Sanusi: Porto vs. Chelsea
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Venue: Estadio R. Sanchez Pizjuan
Time: Wednesday, 8 pm

Ignoring Bayern Munich’s youngster Jamal Musiala, Zaidu Sanusi is the only Nigerian left in the UEFA Champions League after helping Porto overcome one of the competition’s favourites, Juventus.

Sanusi was kept on the bench last weekend on his return from international duty, but he is likely to return to the lineup as the Portuguese champions travel to Spain to face the English giants.

It is the best time to face Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel suffered his first loss in charge of the Blues with a cracking 2-5 defeat to struggling West Brom.

Confidence should be coursing through Sanusi after the left-back tamed Cristiano Ronaldo in the previous round.

Peter Olayinka: Arsenal vs Slavia Prague
Competition: Europa League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Time: Thursday, 8 pm.

Peter Olayinka has been one of Nigeria’s most exciting wingers in Europe this term. Still, his displays only earned him a spot on the standby list for the Super Eagles clashes against the Benin Republic and Lesotho last month.

The forward, however, returns to England with the Czech Republic champions as underdogs but with every chance to knock out the Gunners.

In previous rounds, Olayinka played crucial roles as Slavia Prague crushed Leicester City and Rangers to set up this clash against Arsenal.

And he would be to once again be at his exciting best if the Czechs are to stand any chance of knocking out Mikel Arteta’s side.

Alex Iwobi: Everton vs Crystal Palace
Competition: English Premier League
Venue: Goodison Park
Time: Monday, 6 pm.

Alex Iwobi has been out of form and favour recently, and only featured for just three minutes in Everton’s loss to Manchester City in the FA Cup quarterfinal.

However, the 24-year-old impressed as Nigeria thrashed Lesotho last Tuesday, and his performance could have convinced Carlo Ancelotti to hand him a start against Crystal Palace.

Everton need the win badly, having not earned the maximum points since the Toffees edge West Brom in early March, and Iwobi could add a new dimension to their attack.

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