After their disappointing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) opener, Nigeria will take on the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Thursday January 18. With two games left to play, this is a must-win for the Super Eagles.
On that note, this is how we think José Peseiro's men will line up for this mouthwatering clash:
Super Eagles predicted XI vs Ivory Coast
The jury's still out on Stanley Nwabali. Since the Chippa United shot-stopper took over from Francis Uzoho, he has hardly impressed, conceding three times in two matches.
Nwabali will have an opportunity to redeem himself against a free-scoring Ivory Coast side.
Another player who has a lot to prove, Zaidu Sanusi was inefficient in front of goal in Nigeria's opening game, missing two big chances. The FC Porto player is expected to start at left-back.
Semi Ajayi was on the bench for Nigeria's 2-0 loss to Guinea last week. In fact, the last seven games the West Bromwich Albion player started for the Super Eagles, the team did not lose.
The last time Nigeria lost a game Ajayi started was in March last year. It'll be interesting to see how he matches up against Jean-Philippe Krasso.
Being the team's captain, William Troost-Ekong is expected to start ahead of Fulham's Calvin Bassey. The PAOK defender played the full 90 minutes in Nigeria's stalemate last weekend.
After a solid performance against Equatorial Guinea, Ola Aina is expected to start on Thursday. The Nottingham Forest player did his part offensively and defensively in the Super Eagles' opening game.
Frank Onyeka made four tackles, a clearance and an interception on Sunday, whilst winning six of seven ground duels. The Brentford midfielder should make the starting XI.
Just like Ajayi, Alex Iwobi did not participate in Nigeria's loss to Guinea. The team did not lose the last seven games the former Arsenal player started.
Joe Aribo replaced an injured Alhassan Yusuf in Nigeria's AFCON 2023 opening match. Yusuf is unavailable for selection, so Southampton's Aribo is expected to replace him on the Super Eagles' starting line-up.
Samuel Chukwueze had some action in the Super Eagles' AFCON 2023 opener, as he replaced Moses Simon just before the 70 minute mark. The AC Milan player will likely replace Simon on the starting XI.
A no-brainer, the Super Eagles will need Ademola Lookman for this game. The Atalanta player setup Victor Osimhen's goal on Sunday, he has scored three times and provided two assists in his last five appearances for club and country.
In Victor Osimhen's last four appearances for the Super Eagles, he found the net seven times. The Napoli forward scored Nigeria's only goal in this tournament, his position in the starting line-up is undisputed.