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Nigeria vs Saudi Arabia: All you need to know about friendly tie, lineup, scoreline, others

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Nigeria is scheduled to engage in an international friendly with Saudi Arabia at the Estádio Municipal de Portimão in Portugal on Friday evening.

The kick-off time for this international friendly match is set at 5 pm.

Following the Saudi Arabia clash this week, Nigeria is prepared to face Mozambique in another friendly match next week.

Both of these matches are seen as essential preparations for the Super Eagles ahead of their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in November.

Notably, the last encounter between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia took place in 2010 in Austria, concluding in a 0-0 draw.

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FIFA, the global governing body for football, has already designated Portuguese official Luis Godinho as the referee for this international friendly match between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Godinho will be supported by his compatriots, including Bruno Jesus (assistant referee one), Tiago Costa (assistant referee two), and Miguel Noguera (fourth official). Additionally, FIFA has assigned Helder Carvalho to oversee the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) room, with Bruno Vieira assisting Carvalho.

Nigeria’s Team News:

Super Eagles’ head coach, Jose Peseiro, has already summoned 25 players for the upcoming friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. It’s worth noting that Gent forward, Gift Orban, did not receive a call-up, with Nice’s Terem Moffi being included after being omitted from Nigeria’s previous game against Sao Tome and Principe. Unfortunately, Nottingham Forest attacker Taiwo Awoniyi will not participate in Nigeria’s two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique due to injury. Awoniyi recently suffered a groin injury during training with Nottingham Forest, which may sideline him for up to a month. Furthermore, Nottingham Forest defender Ola Aina has also been ruled out of the two friendlies due to injury. Although Aina was initially named in the 25-man squad for both games by Peseiro, his Premier League club, Nottingham Forest, has confirmed his current absence due to a muscle injury, with the return date remaining uncertain. Notably, Peseiro has extended a maiden invitation to the team for Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who currently plays for Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor.

Peseiro’s team will assemble in Faro, Portugal, on Tuesday in preparation for the friendly match.

While Nigeria has claimed victory in three of its last six matches against Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau (two legs), Portugal, and Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia approaches the game against Nigeria after facing defeat in all of their last six matches. These losses were against South Korea, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Poland. The Green Falcons are anticipating their first win under their new coach, Roberto Mancini, who was appointed in August. Mancini has already unveiled his 31-man squad for the Nigeria clash this week and the Mali game next week. Notably, the former Manchester City manager has called up thirty-one players based in Saudi Arabia, with Al-Hilal contributing the most players to the roster (12).

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Predictions:

It is widely believed that Nigeria is expected to secure a victory against Saudi Arabia, with the match potentially ending in a 2-1 result in favor of Jose Peseiro’s side.

Isa Saleh Sadiq, a football scout and the CEO of International Football Academy based in Northern Nigeria, shared his insights on Nigeria’s clash with Saudi Arabia. Sadiq noted that this international friendly would be challenging for both teams. He emphasized that Saudi Arabia is yet to secure a victory under Mancini, and he expects a closely contested match.

Sadiq also expressed his satisfaction with the players called up by Peseiro for the friendly game, highlighting the inclusion of players who are in good form and regularly feature for their club sides. However, he expressed disappointment that only one player from the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) made the list and hoped that more local players would be invited in subsequent matches.

In terms of predictions, Sadiq anticipates a tough and closely contested match, with a potential outcome of a 1-0 victory for Nigeria or a 1-1 draw.

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Euro 2024: Ronaldo sets new record as Portugal crush Turkey 3-0

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Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo made history again as his team triumphed 3-0 over Turkey at Euro 2024 on Saturday.

Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes scored, with an own goal by Samet Akaydin, securing a straightforward victory.

Ronaldo assisted Fernandes in scoring the final goal, tapping into an empty net.

This assist marked the 39-year-old’s seventh in the competition, adding another record to his impressive collection.

The victory ensured Roberto Martinez’s team advanced to the last-16 as group winners.

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Aguero set to make return to football

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Former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has announced that he is on the verge of returning to football as a club owner. Aguero, however, declined to disclose the name of the club.

The 36-year-old made this revelation during a recent conversation with Argentine streamer Coscu, whose real name is Martin Perez Disalvo.

When asked about his interest in returning to football as a manager, the former Barcelona star replied, “The truth is that I’m considering getting involved in a football club as an owner. I’m not going to reveal which club it is, but I believe we are on the right track. I enjoy being able to manage, to help the club progress, and to build a strong team and staff.”

Aguero retired from professional football in 2021 after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, just days after being hospitalized.

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EPL: Ex-Arsenal player, Kevin Campbell is dead

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Arsenal announced on Saturday that their former player, Kevin Campbell, has passed away at the age of 54.

Campbell, a striker, played for the Gunners, Nottingham Forest, and Everton.

Throughout his nearly 20-year career, he scored 148 goals in 542 club appearances.

“Everyone at Everton is deeply saddened by the death of our former striker Kevin Campbell at the age of just 54.

“Not just a true Goodison Park hero and icon of the English game, but an incredible person as well – as anyone who ever met him will know. RIP, Super Kev,” an Everton statement read.

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After retiring from playing in May 2007, Campbell went on to have a successful career in the media.

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