AFCON 2023: Fitness updates on Nigeria duo for crucial CIV tie

Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro hints at the possible return of Napoli's Victor Osimhen for their crucial encounter with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023).

The Napoli forward was absent from Super Eagles training following the team's disappointing opening match against Equatorial Guinea.

“Osimhen, in the last camp against Portugal, for the friendly match against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique, Osimhen’s injury was bad for him, was bad for Naples, was bad for us [Nigeria]. He told me yesterday, ‘Mr, I feel a slight pain in this place where I was previously injured’. I think I prefer him not to do anything than end up going for an operation.” Peseiro said.

Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro during an AFCON 2023 presser
Photo by Icon Sport

Alhassan Yusuf's AFCON 2023 chances

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles coach expressed uncertainty about Royale Antwerp midfielder Alhassan Yusuf, who made an intriguing debut against Equatorial Guinea in Nigeria’s opening game before picking up a knock. The former IFK Göteborg player underwent a scan to assess his condition.

“He is not ready to play yet,” Peseiro told the press.

This will certainly be a significant setback for Yusuf, who has already impressed the Super Eagles fans with his excellent performance on his AFCON debut.

Even though he did not complete the entire duration of the game, official match statistics revealed that Yusuf won seven duels, more than any other player on the pitch. He also made three ball recoveries, demonstrating his impressive work rate.

Yusuf was a replacement for Wilfred Ndidi who missed the tournament through injury.

The Super Eagles will hope to secure their first win of the competition to improve their chances of advancing to the next phase.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.