The Portuguese has been forced to invite Terem Moffi and Paul Onuachu as replacements after losing both Victor Boniface and Umar Sadiq to injuries.
In midfield, Yusuf Alhassan was also drafted into the squad as a replacement for Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, who was ruled out of the AFCON due to a muscle problem, while Kelechi Iheanacho faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament.
This means extra responsibility for Victor Osimhen as the team’s main source of goals, as Nigeria aims to navigate their way past Group A, which also contains hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
‘Super Eagles have the best goal scorer in Osimhen’
Speaking ahead of the Super Eagles’ opening game against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, 14 January, Peseiro said he expects his attackers to deliver in front of goal nonetheless.
He cited Osimhen, the reigning CAF Footballer of the Year, and Moses Simon as players who have the quality to unlock any defence.
“We qualified and had the highest number of goals scored among all the pools because we are one of the African teams with a more offensive game plan,” Peseiro said, as quoted by Supersport.
“We had the best scorer [Osimhen] and one of the best assistants [Moses Simon, with three].”
Nigeria are among the favourites for the AFCON, having booked their place in the tournament as the highest scorers in the qualifiers.
The Super Eagles impressively scored 22 goals in qualifying, with the highlight being a 10-0 drubbing of Sao Tome and Principe at home.
Napoli forward Osimhen was also the top scorer in qualifying, having netted 10 goals – five more than Louis Mafouta, Sadio Mane, Youssef Msakni and Patson Daka.