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Portugal Vs Nigeria Football Match Score 17 November 2022

Portugal Vs Nigeria Football Match Score 17 November 2022

Portugal wrap up their preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup with a friendly matchup against African heavyweight Nigeria at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Thursday. The three-time African champions, who will not be participating in Qatar following their qualifying heartbreak, will be looking to return to winning ways and close out the year on a high as they prepare for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures.

Off the back of a somewhat disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign, where they finished one point behind group winners Spain, Portugal will be looking to make their mark in Qatar. Having picked up three wins and one draw from their first five matches, a 1-0 home loss against Luis Enrique’s men on September 27 saw A Selecao lose top spot in Group A2 in their final group outing. Drawn in Group H of the World Cup alongside Ghana, South Korea and South American powerhouse Uruguay, Portugal are slight favourites to finish as group winners and progress to the knockout stages. This alone will not be enough for Fernando Santos’s men, who have failed to progress past the round of 16 since 2006, where they reached the semi-finals before suffering a 1-0 loss against France.

Despite a shaky qualifying run — where they finished behind first-placed Serbia before securing playoff wins over Turkey and North Macedonia — Santos has shown he has what it takes to get the job done against some of the world’s biggest footballing nations. The 68-year-old was at the helm of affairs when Portugal clinched the European Championship title back in 2016, three years before guiding the nation to their first UEFA Nations League crown. Portugal, who are making a sixth consecutive World Cup appearance, will be looking to reach their first-ever final and have called-up a star-studded squad for the task at hand, with skipper Cristiano Ronaldo headlining the squad once again.

Nigeria, on the other hand, will head into Thursday looking to finally give their fans something to cheer for following what has been an underwhelming year. The three-time African champions kicked off the year with a round-of-16 exit from the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations as they fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tunisia on January 23. Shortly afterwards, the Super Eagles fell short in their bid for a place in Qatar as they were beaten by West African rivals Ghana on the away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate draw in the qualifying playoffs in March. Nigeria were also denied a place in the 2022 Africa Nations Championship as they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Ghana after bottling a two-goal first-leg lead and playing out a 2-2 aggregate draw in September.

Jose Peseiro’s side head into Thursday on a run of five consecutive friendly defeats, scoring two goals and shipping 11 since an uneventful goalless draw against Cameroon in June 2021. Nigeria’s last friendly victory came back in March 2019, when they saw off seven-time AFCON champions Egypt 1-0 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium courtesy of an early strike from Genk forward Paul Onuachu. The West African side, who have lost their last three matches across all competitions — including a 2-0 defeat against Costa Rica just five days ago — will be looking to close out the year on a high as they prepare for their remaining AFCON qualifying fixtures. While Thursday’s games are a warm-up outing, we expect Portugal to name a strong XI, with Danilo Pereira and Antonio Silva potentially pairing at the heart of the defence.

Santos has plenty of options at the centre of the park, with the likes of Joao Palhinha, William Carvalho, Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes and Bruno Fernandes pushing for starting roles. In attack, Goncalo Ramos, who has nine goals in 11 Primeira Liga matches this season, should lead the attack, alongside Otavio and Rafael Leao, while Manchester United forward Ronaldo could make an appearance off the bench. As for Nigeria, in-form striker Victor Osimhen, who has netted nine goals in the Serie A this season, has withdrawn from the squad after picking up an injury while in action for Napoli at the weekend.

Alongside Osimhen, who was absent from September’s 2-1 loss against Algeria due to injury, Orlando Pirates defender Olisah Ndah has also pulled out from the squad due to injury. In the absence of both players, Chidozie Awaziem, who has 28 senior caps under his belt has been called-up to the Super Eagles’ squad, while 27-year-old Cyriel Dessers takes the place of Osimhen. Other notable names in Peseiro’s 25-man squad include Francis Uzoho, who had a standout performance against Manchester United in the Europa League back in October, Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman and the Premier League trio of Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi and Emmanuel Dennis.

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Sa; Dalot, Silva, Pereira, Guerreiro; Palhinha, Neves, Vitinha; Leao, Otavio, Ramos

Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Uzoho; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Bassey, Akpoguma; Onyeka, Ndidi, Iwobi; Chukwueze, Dennis, Onuachu

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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