Ahead of the crucial last two games in the 2018 world cup qualifiers, Izu Akawor has decided to do something a little different with the preview of leagues in Europe.
The focus will be on Nigerian players, especially those invited for the last two games of the World Cup qualifying series by manager, Gernot Rohr.
We will take a look at the clubs’ games this weekend and how they are faring in their respective domestic leagues. Starting in the English Premier League, where we have the likes of Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi etc.
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Victor Moses’ Chelsea will be involved in the biggest clash this weekend when they host league leaders, Man City at Stamford Bridge.
Both sides are in form at the moment, and scoring goals, with Moses playing a prominent role for the Blues including in their recent defeat of Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
The 26-year-old has been a constant feature, and will be expected to be in the starting team for the late game on Saturday.
- Advertisement -
Elsewhere in the PL, Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho are away on a trip to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth.
While Ndidi is sure to start in that game, same can’t be said of the duo of Musa and Iheanacho, both have struggled to cement their places in the team since making the switch to the Foxes.
It has been a difficult season for the Foxes, who find themselves 17th on the league standings, with four points from a possible eighteen and will be going to the tie tomorrow hoping for a change in fortunes.
In London, after missing Arsenal’s Europa League win at Bate Borisov due to injury, Alex Iwobi is available again for the Gunners, who welcome newbies, Brighton to the Emirates stadium on Sunday.
The 21-year-old, who also missed the PL game against West Brom, will be hoping to help Arsenal close the gap between them and the sides at the top, with the Gunners currently six points behind, as they occupy 7th position on the table.
In the championship, the English second division, Ola Aina, another Super Eagles invitee, will be hoping to help his Hull City side as they welcome Birmingham City to the KCom stadium. Currently on a run of five games without a win, the Tigers have also failed to keep a clean sheet in any of those matches and their youthful Eagle will be hoping to help them change that this weekend.
Aina has featured regularly for Hull since his loan move from Chelsea, having made nine appearances in the league for the Tigers, who are languishing in 17th.
Bursaspor (William Troost-Ekong, Mikel Agu)
In the Turkish Super Lig, Bursaspor duo of Troost-Ekong and Agu are away at Kayserispor, hoping to bounce from their defeat at home to Galatasaray last weekend.
A win for Bursaspor will take them above their host, who are just two points ahead in fifth, while the away side occupy the eighth position. Both Ekong and Agu played in that defeat to Galatasaray, and will be expected to be involved as well on Saturday.
Elderson Echiejile’s Sivasspor host Antalyasapor, hoping to bounce back from their defeat at home last weekend, while Ogenyi Onazi’s Trabzonspor, with one win all season, will have it all to do when they travel to the Vodafone Stadium to take on Besiktas, who have only lost once this season, to Fenerbahce.
In the Ligue 1, defender, Chidozie Awaziem and Nantes will be hoping to continue their rich vein of form when they host bottom of the table club, Metz.
Nantes are unbeaten in the last five games, and Awaziem has played in the last two, which they won and will be hoping to play a part when Metz come calling.
In Belgium, wing wizard, Simon Moses and his club, KAA Gent, will be hoping to bounce back from their loss to Zulte Waregem with a tricky tie against Club Brugge, who have only lost once this season, when they face off on Sunday.
Shehu Abdullahi’s table topping Anorthosis, who have won all but one of their games so far, lock horns with second placed AEK Larnaca, who are four points behind in second, but have lost their last two matches.
In Portugal, Oghenekaro Etebo’s Feirense are away at Boavista, while Dele Alampasu will be hoping to feature for his third division side, Cesarense when they welcome Trofense.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, Tyronne Ebuehi’s ADO Den Haag are on the road, as they visit NAC Breda, with both sides having an identical record this season.
They have both played five games, winning two, drawing one and losing two. They both also won last weekend, and will be looking to build on those wins when they clash at the Rat Verlegh Stadion.
Finally, in the Israeli league, John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme will have to wait a while before bouncing back from their Europa League defeat in the hands of Viktoria Plzen, as they aren’t involved in the league this weekend.