Two teams on divergent paths are set to clash in an international friendly at Estadio Municipal de Portimao on Friday evening. Saudi Arabia finds themselves mired in a troubling seven-match losing streak, while Nigeria is riding the crest of a four-match winning wave, MySportDab reports.
Nigeria’s recent triumph was a stunning 6-0 victory over Sao Tome & Principe in the AFCON qualifying campaign, with Victor Osimhen taking the spotlight by netting a hat-trick.
Alongside Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Samuel Chukwueze all contributed to this emphatic win.
The Super Eagles have been a formidable force, winning their last three matches by a combined score of 10-2 since their defeat to Guinea-Bissau in March.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, faced a 1-0 defeat against South Korea in their latest outing. They have struggled to find their footing, suffering losses in all their subsequent matches after a promising start with a win over Yemen in the Gulf Cup of Nations earlier this year.
Saudi Arabia’s primary issue has been their inability to find the back of the net, with only four goals scored in their last six games.
The recent form of both teams is starkly contrasting. Saudi Arabia’s string of losses has left them in a precarious situation, with their fans yearning for a turnaround. On the other hand, Nigeria is brimming with confidence, aiming to continue their winning streak as they prepare for World Cup qualifiers.
This international friendly carries added significance as it marks a rematch of an encounter 13 years ago, where both teams fought to a goalless stalemate.
The pressure is on Saudi Arabia to defy their recent struggles and rekindle their competitive spirit against a formidable Nigerian side.
Saudi Arabia friendly form: LLLL
Saudi Arabia form (all competitions): LLLLLL
Nigeria friendly form: LLL
Nigeria form (all competitions): LLLWWW
The possible starting lineups include Al-Owais, Al-Shahrani, Al-Tambakti, Al-Boleahi, Al-Ghannam, Kanno, Al-Khaibari, and N. Al-Dawsari for Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria might field Uzoho, Osayi-Samuel, Bassey, Ebuehi, Torunarigha, Ndidi, Iwobi, Iheanacho, Lookman, Osimhen, and Boniface.
In a significant development, twenty-one-year-old Eid Al-Muwallad is on the cusp of earning his first international cap after a recent call-up.
On the Nigerian side, Victor Osimhen’s hat-trick in the last game elevated him to an impressive 20 goals for his nation, making him the third-highest scorer in Nigeria’s history.
This match promises to be a fascinating clash between a Saudi Arabia side desperately seeking a reversal of fortune and a resurgent Nigerian team looking to build on their recent successes.
Football enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the outcome of this encounter, as both teams battle for pride and form on the international stage.