Nigeria will face Saudi Arabia in an international friendly at the Estádio Municipal de Portimão, in Portugal on Friday evening.
The kick-off time for the international friendly match is 5pm.
After the Saudi Arabia clash this week, Nigeria will then take on Mozambique next week in another friendly game.
Both matches will serve as preparation for the Super Eagles’ 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in November.
The last game between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia was in 2010 in Austria and the friendly match ended in a 0-0 draw.
World football-governing body, FIFA, has already appointed Portuguese official Luis Godinho as referee for the international friendly match between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Godinho will be assisted by compatriots Bruno Jesus (assistant referee one), Tiago Costa (assistant referee two) and Miguel Noguera (fourth official).
FIFA also appointed Helder Carvalho to head the situation in the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) room, and Bruno Vieira as Carvalho’s assistant.
Nigeria team news:
Head coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has already called up 25 players to camp for the upcoming friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique.
Gent forward, Gift Orban has not been called up. Instead, Nice’s Terem Moffi was invited after he was left out for Nigeria’s last game against Sao Tome and Principe.
Nottingham Forest attacker, Taiwo Awoniyi will play no part in Nigeria’s two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique because of injury.
Awoniyi recently sustained a groin injury in training with Nottingham Forest which could see him sidelined for up to a month.
Nottingham Forest manager, Steve Cooper confirmed Awoniyi’s injury prior to his side’s Premier League 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Also, Nottingham Forest defender Ola Aina has been ruled out of the two friendlies with injury.
Aina was named in the 25-man squad for both games by Peseiro.
But Aina’s Premier League club, Nottingham Forest, have since confirmed he is currently sidelined with a muscle injury.
The former Chelsea star’s return date is presently not known.
Meanwhile, Peseiro handed Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who currently plays his club football for Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor, his maiden invitation to the team.
Peseiro’s side will open camp in Faro, Portugal, on Tuesday for the friendly tie.
Nigeria have won three of their last six matches against Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau (two-legs), Portugal and Costa Rica.
Saudi Arabia team news:
Saudi Arabia head to the game against Nigeria after losing all their last six matches.
The Asian powerhouse lost against South Korea, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico and Poland.
The Green Falcons will be hoping to get their first victory under their new coach, Roberto Mancini who was appointed in August.
Mancini has already unveiled his 31-man squad for the Nigeria clash this week and the Mali game next week.
The former Manchester City manager called up thirty one players based in Saudi Arabia, with Al-Hilal contributing the most players to the roster (12).
Nigeria’s probable starting XI:
Francis Uzoho, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey, Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman and Victor Boniface.
Saudi Arabia’s probable starting XI:
Mohammed Al-Owais, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Hassan Al-Tambakti, Saud Abulhamid, Salem Al-Dawsari, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Mohamed Kanno, Eid Al-Muwallad, Firas Al-Buraikan, Abdullah Al-Hamdan.
It is believed that Nigeria will beat Saudi Arabia. The match could end 2-1 in favour of Jose Peseiro’s side.
Speaking with DAILY POST, Isa Saleh Sadiq, a Football scout and the CEO of International Football Academy based in Northern Nigeria, gave his opinion on Nigeria’s clash with Saudi Arabia.
Sadiq said: “This international friendly will be a tough one for both teams. The Saudi are yet to win a game under Mancini. I think the Italian has lost his first two games in charge of the team. So I expect him to come out with a formidable team that will match the Super Eagles.
“Let’s not forget that the Saudi team participated in the last World Cup in Qatar and even defeated the World Cup champions Argentina in the group stage in Qatar. So I expect a very close game against Nigeria.”
Sadiq also expressed his happiness for some of the players invited by Peseiro to partake in the friendly game.
He said, “I must give kudos to Peseiro for inviting players who are on form and playing regularly for their club sides. I am particularly happy to see OGC Nice player Terem Moffi, Victor Boniface, who plays for Bayer Leverkusen and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru of Hatayaspor for his maiden call-up to the national team.
“However, I am not pleased that only one local player from the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) made the list in the person of [Olorunleke] Ojo, who is Enyimba FC goalkeeper.
“Well, I don’t know why Peseiro did not invite at least three to five home-based players for this game. He has his reasons, maybe it was because the domestic league just started recently, I’m not certain but I hope in subsequent matches he invites the local players. This boosts the morale of players in the NPFL.”
Asked to give his prediction for the game, Sadiq said, “Well, the last time both teams met, they drew goalless, that was over a decade. We now have a new crop of players in both teams.
“However, like I said earlier, I don’t think the game will be easy for both teams. I expect a tough game and a close outcome. Nigeria won by 1-0 or 1-1 draw,” Sadiq said.