AFCON qualifier: How will Nigeria lineup against Egypt?

Nigeria square-off against the Pharaohs of Egypt in a must win Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Good Friday.

The build up to the encounter has been intense as two nations with 10 African titles between them clash for the first time in six years.

Samson Siasia will be aiming for a heroic return to the Super Eagles by orchestrating one of the biggest upset – which is beating the North Africans who are unbeaten in the last three encounters against his team.

But who should start in the new look Eagles lineup? We try to pre-empt Siasia’s strongest 11 to face the Egyptians.

Goalkeeper: Carl Ikeme

Carl Ikeme is the obvious choice in goal ahead of Kelechi Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi. The Wolverhampton man has successfully stepped into the big shoes left by former skipper and most capped player, Vincent Enyeama and is yet to concede in three competitive games since making his debut in September 2015.

Defenders: Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Elderson Echiejele and Abdullahi Shehu

Efe Ambrose and Godfrey Oboabona should get the nod to start in the centre of defence following the withdrawal of Kenneth Omeruo and Leon Balogun through injury. Ambrose has been impressive in the last couple of games scoring against Swaziland and Cameroon, while Oboabona has only missed one out of the last five games.

The pair will be joined by Monaco man, Elderson Echiejele, and Portugal based Abdullahi Shehu at left and right back respectively.

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Azubuike Okechukwu

Newly appointed skipper of the team, John Obi Mikel, is certain to start against the Pharaohs. The experience of the Chelsea midfielder will be crucial against the sleek North Africans. In the absence of regular partner, Ogenyi Onazi, U-23 skipper, Azubuike Okechukwu, should get the nod while Arsenal starlet, Alex Iwobi, could start in an advanced role from the middle.

Strikers: Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa

Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, is expected to lead the charge for goals, flanked by Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa. The pair of Ighalo and Musa has scored 26 goals between them this season, while West Ham winger Moses is making a return to the team after about two years.

Nigeria’s Possible XI vs. Egypt: Ikeme, Shehu, Oboabona, Ambrose, Echiejele; Mikel, Azubuike, Iwobi, Moses, Musa, Ighalo