International Football goes on break for the next 4 months but Izu Akawor takes a look at what the Super Eagles players, who have made Nigeria so proud, are up to this weekend at their respective clubs.
A draw in Constantine, Algeria and a thrilling come back win over Argentina in Krasdonar, Russia means the Super Eagles players will be watched closely from now till March next year.
We kick this off with the English Premier League, where the big one sees Alex Iwobi, who scored a brace for Nigeria against Argentina, and Arsenal welcome rivals, Tottenham, in what’s expected to be an entertaining North London derby on Saturday.
While Iwobi has been brilliant for Nigeria, he has been in and out of the Arsenal side in recent times, and will be hoping to figure in the plans of Arsene Wenger ahead of the visit of Mauricio Pochettino’s side to the Emirates.
Ndidi Wilfred, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Ahmed Musa, Leicester City
For the Nigerian contingent at Leicester, they have it all to do when they welcome league leaders, Manchester City to the King Power Stadium.
While Ndidi is sure to start against City, after his good showing against Argentina, Iheanacho will be hoping that his manager, Claude Puel, gives him more opportunities at the Foxes to show what he can do.
Same can’t be said for Ahmed Musa, however, with the hand writing on the wall very clear for the former CSKA Moskva and Kano Pillars man.
Meanwhile, at the Hawthorns, Victor Moses’s Chelsea take on West Brom Albion.
Moses, who has since returned to light training, having been out injured for at least a month, will be hoping to be deemed fit enough by manager, Antonio Conte, ahead of that trip.
In the Championship, where Ola Aina stars for Hull City, the Tigers are at home to Ipswich Town at the Kcom stadium.
Aina’s Hull City are struggling, having lost their last three games, but will be hoping to be back to winning ways when they welcome Ipswich, a side that hasn’t won any of their last eight encounters against the Tigers in the championship.
Chidozie Awaziem, Nantes.
Awaziem and Nantes are in for a tough time this weekend, as they take a trip to the capital to battle unbeaten league leaders, Paris Saint-Germain.
Awaziem was conspicuously missing as Nantes returned to winning ways just before the break, in their 2-1 defeat of Toulouse at home.
The youthful defender was not listed for that game, but after a good outing with Nigeria, he’d be hopeful of a chance to go toe-to-toe with PSG’s expensively assembled attack led by world most expensive footballer, Neymar.
Leon Balogun, Mainz 05
Since his return from a cheekbone injury, Leon Balogun has only been considered good enough for the bench.
However, they welcome bottom of the table side, FC Koln, this weekend, and the 28-year-old will be hoping to play a part as Mainz look to bounce back from their defeat the last time.
Olarenwaju Kayode, Girona.
Olarenwaju Kayode’s Girona are at home to Real Sociedad, as they look to continue their good start to life in the Spanish top division.
After coming on as a substitute in their brilliant home win against defending champions, Real Madrid, Kayode was an unused substitute as Girona followed that up with another brilliant victory at Levante.
The on-loan Man City striker will be hoping to also play a part when Girona welcome the in form Real Sociedad on Friday.
Alhassan Ibrahim, Austria Wien
He was only placed on standby for the Super Eagles, but Alhanssan has been a constant feature for his club side, Wien.
This weekend, it’s a battle against the fifth placed Wien, and Admira Moedling, who are sixth. Both sides are only separated on goal difference, making this weekend’s clash an exciting battle.
Henry Onyekuru, Anderlecht.
Onyekuru returns to Anderlecht having finally made his competitive debut for Nigeria in the 1-1 draw with Algeria.
However, he returns to Anderlecht hoping to be back amongst the goals, having been caged for weeks now, when they travel to take on Royal Excel Mouscron, who parade another Nigerian, Taiwo Awoniyi.
Uche Agbo, Standard Liege.
Agbo’s Standard Liege will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat before the break when they host Oostende.
The versatile Agbo failed to get a minute during his time with Nigeria, but will be hoping for a return to his club, where he has really figured for them this season.
Simon Moses, Gent.
Simon missed Nigeria’s games against Algeria and Argentina due to an injury, but will be hoping to return to the Gent team that is on the road this weekend, as they tackle Lokeren.
Both sides are 11th and 12th respectively on the league table, separated by just goal difference.
Shehu Abdullahi, Anorthosis
Shehu’s Anorthosis are away this weekend, as they face Ermis Aradippou.
Shehu has featured constantly for the league leaders, including their win just before the international break.
John Ogu, Anthony Nwakaeme, Hapeol Beer Sheva.
Defensive midfielder, John Ogu, finally got a chance to show what he can do for his country, and he didn’t disappoint.
Ogu followed his brilliant performance against Algeria, which he capped with an exquisite goal, with another solid showing against South American giants, Argentina.
However, this weekend, Ogu alongside his compatriot at the club, Nwakaeme, who finally made his international debut for Nigeria, will be on duty for his Israeli side, Be’er Sheva, when they host Hapoel Ironi Akko.
For Nwakaeme, he will be looking to forget his debut, with a better showing for his club.
Tyronne Ebuehi, ADO Den Haag,
After his brilliant outing against Argentina, after coming on as a second half substitute, Ebuehi will be eyeing his 12th league game of the season when ADO Den Haag welcome Heracles on Sunday.
Ebuehi’s ADO will be hoping to build on the 2-2 draw with defending champions, Feyenoord, just before the break.
Chidiebere Nwakali, Sogndal
Chidiebere returns to his struggling club side, Sogndal, having earned his first call up to the Super Eagles.
Sogndal have won none of their last five league games, losing three in the process and this weekend, they travel to eighth placed team, Stabaek.
Oghenekaro Etebo, CD Feirense
It’s the cup games this weekend in Portugal, and Etebo’s Feirense will look for better outing when they take on Vitoria de Guimaraes on Sunday, having lost their last three games.
Bryan Idowu, Amkar Perm
It was a debut to remember for Russian-born Bryan Idowu, who marked his first game for Nigeria with a well taken goal against Argentina.
However, it’s not as beautiful for the 25-year-old and his club, Amkar, in the Russian league.
They lie 12th on the log, and are winless in their last five games, which include the defeat just before the break.
This weekend, they travel to take on FC Rostov, who also have a terrible form hoping for a better outing.
William Troost-Ekong, Mikel Agu, Bursaspor.
After his strong performances for Nigeria during the break, Troost-Ekong, a member of the ‘Oyibo wall’ returns for his club, Bursaspor, who host Goztepe in the Turkish Super Lig.
His compatriot at the club, Mikel Agu, who missed both games for Nigeria, remains a doubt for that game, after he picked up an injury in their last game prior to the break.
Elsewhere, Super Eagles vice captain, Ogenyi Onazi’s Trabzonapor are also at home to Osmanlispor FK. Onazi picked up a groin injury in their last league game, and is a doubt for the clash against the relegation threatened side.
Finally, another player who could miss his side’s clash this weekend is left back, Elderson Echiejile, who has been out injured.
Sivasspor are away to giants, Fenerbahce, who are just two points behind their host ahead of the game on Sunday.