The most exciting club competition in the world, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) is back and kicks off tonight with no fewer than 12 Nigerians in eight different teams.
Many fans (including those from Nigeria) have waited for so long to watch the teams they support to step out on the pitch with that famous UEFA Champions League, UCL, song playing in the background.
For Nigerians, YourSportsMemo has come up with an added incentive to watch the 2019/2020 UCL season, with 12 Nigerians set to take to the pitch.
Let’s get this off with two of the hottest Nigerian youngsters, www.aclsports.com Naija star of the week, Victor Osimhen and Tammy Abraham who will face each other at some point this season in Group H.
Victor Osimhen, LOSC Lille
Just days after netting his first Super Eagles goal against Ukraine in an international friendly, Osimhen scored his fifth of the season on his return to Lille in the Ligue 1.
— LOSC Lille EN (@LOSC_EN) September 16, 2019
The 20-year-old striker would be hoping to transfer that red-hot form to the UCL, where his club side, Lille, will play in the group stage for the first time since 2012.
Lille kickoff their campaign with a tricky game against last season semifinalists, Ajax Amsterdam in Holland on Tuesday.
Tonight’s encounter at the Johan Cruyff Arena will see Lille become the seventh French side Ajax will be battling in Europe.
Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Chelsea
Tammy Abraham’s international future is back in the news following his impressive form for his boyhood club, Chelsea.
Abraham is joint-top scorer this season in the English Premier League on seven goals, after his first hattrick for the Blues against Wolves at the weekend.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 16, 2019
This form has, of course, raised that debate – why he just choose the Super Eagles instead of the Three Lions of England.
But while the 21-year-old may have a decision to make as it concerns his international career, his club, Chelsea will be banking on him and compatriot, Fikayo Tomori, a defender, to ensure their return to the UCL kicks off on winning note when they host LaLiga side, Valencia, in the second Group H game at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues return to the UCL after winning the Europa League last season will see them take on Valencia for the seventh time.
David Okereke, Dennis Bonaventure, Club Brugge
Leading the Nigerian contingent from Belgium are the duo of David Okereke and Dennis Bonaventure of Club Brugge.
These two are very important to Brugge, who kickoff their at home to Galatasaray on Wednesday.
— Club Brugge KV (@ClubBrugge) September 15, 2019
Club Brugge and Galatasaray will be meeting for the second time ever, with Brugge having the bragging rights over Turkish teams at home.
Okereke and Bonaventure, who recently made his Super Eagles debut against Ukraine, will once again lead the attack for the Belgians who would want to maintain their unbeaten run at home.
Bonaventure has been the more productive of the two in Europe, with one goal in four appearances for Brugge during the qualifiers while Okereke fires blanks in four matches.
However, with five goals contributed (four goals and one assist), Okereke has been a proven threat for Brugge in the league this season.
Paul Onuachu, Stephen Odey, Genk
The duo of Onuachu and Odey are also part of the group from Belgium as they will step out for Genk.
Onuachu got off the mark for the season at the weekend after sealing a move from Denmark last summer, while Odey is yet to score in two appearances.
Peter Olayinka, Slavia Prague and Iyayi Atiemwen, Dinamo Zagre
Not much is known of these two Nigerians, who will also be taking to the pitch for their respective clubs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Olayinka, an attacker, and Slavia Prague face a difficult trip to former UCL winners, Inter Milan, while Atiemwen’s Dinamo Zagreb welcome UCL newbies, Atalanta, another side from Italy.
Tyronne Ebuehi, Benfica and Bryan Idowu, Lokomotiv Moscow
Finally, two defenders complete the list with Ebuehi and Idowu whose clubs take on German oppositions.
We may have to wait a while longer to see talented full-back, Ebuehi, who though made the UCL squad for Benfica, who host RB Leipzig, is still out injured.
For Idowu, having made three appearances this season for Lokomotiv Moscow, he would be hoping for a fourth outing when they German side, Bayer Leverkusen.
Which of these Nigerians are you most looking forward to watching this season?