Nigeria Under 23 head coach Imama Amapakabo has handed starts to team captain Okechukwu Azubuike and striker Taiwo Awoniyi in Tuesday’s U23 Africa Cup of Nations (U23AFCON) game against Zambia.
In the absence of Azubuike and Awoniyi, defending champions Nigeria lost their opening game of the competition 0-1 to Coted’voire on Saturday at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Both players joined the team on Monday after their release by European clubs Istanbul Başaksehir and FSV Mainz respectively and the coach has opted to start them.
They replace the duo of Aliyu Yau and Bright Enobakhare who started Saturday’s game while Sunusi Ibrahim takes the place of Olabiran Muyiwa.
The remaining players that started against Coted’voire kept their places with the exception of suspended defender Olisah Ndah whose place is taken by Valentine Ozornwafor.
The match between Nigeria and Zambia will kick off at 7pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Abubakar Adamu – Sincere Seth, Godfrey Stephen, Anthony Izuchukwu, Valentine Ozornwafor – Okechukwu Azubuike, Ndifreke Effiong, Kelechi Nwakali – Sunusi Ibrahim, Taiwo Awoniyi, Orji Okwonkwo