Nigeria vs. Algeria: Who features in our combined XI?

Super Eagles players in training

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are gearing up for the visit of Algeria as the race for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup intensifies.

Both nations are blessed with probably the best set of players on the continent at the moment who light up the European leagues each week.

Here’s a compilation of the best XI who could feature for both team’s on Saturday taking into consideration their form, pedigree and experience.

Formation: 3-5-3

GK – Rais Ouhab M’bolhi (Antalyaspor)

In the absence of experienced Nigeria goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, Antalyaspor man, Rais M’bolhi, who is teammates of Kenneth Omeruo, gets the nod.

CB – Leon Balogun (Mainz)

Leon Balogun is certainly Nigeria’s most exposed and experienced defender at 28. He has featured 10 times for Mainz in the Bundesliga and Europa League this season.

CB – William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund)

William Troost-Ekong is gradually developing a remarkable partnership with Balogun at the back. He is captain at Norwegian side, Haugesund, despite only joining the club on loan.

CB – Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli)

Completing our three-man defence is Napoli left-footed Faouzi Ghoulam. The fast and tough tackling Algerian has appeared 16 times for Napoli this season.

CM – Mikel Obi (Chelsea)

Despite not making any appearance for Chelsea so far this season, Mikel Obi’s experience and technical artistry remains priceless to any team.

CM – Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke 04)

Just beside Mikel is Tottenham’s youngster, Nabil Bentaleb, currently on loan at Schalke. Bentaleb has contributed three goals this season in all competitions.

RWB – Victor Moses (Chelsea)

No African is better suited to this role at the moment than Chelsea’s Victor Moses. The Nigerian has simply been exceptional for the Blues with three strikes to show.

LWB – Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Reigning PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, will slot into the left. The Algerian had a remarkable season last year with Leicester City and is doing wonders in the Champions League this term.

AM – Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)

Manchester City’s golden boy, Kelechi Iheanacho, has struck four times and assisted three others this season. He has also netted four in his last four appearances for Nigeria.

AM – Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

The other 20-year-old in our team, Alex Iwobi has illuminated the Premier League this season with his quality display for Arsenal. Though his finishing isn’t as good as Iheanacho, Iwobi supplements that with his superb skills and passes.

CF – Islam Slimani (Leicester City)

Islam Slimani is the kind of striker many Nigerians would have hoped to have in the Super Eagles. The 28-year-old Leicester forward has scored 23 times in just 43 appearances for his country.