Nigeria vs Mali: Uzoho and two other players Finidi should give a second chance

The Super Eagles stars led by Stanley Nwabali and Alex Iwobi celebrate winning a session.

Nigeria vs Mali: Uzoho and two other players Finidi should give a second chance

Izuchukwu Akawor 16:02 - 24.03.2024

Finidi George's Super Eagles will take on Mali in the second and final game of Nigeria's trip to Morocco after the win against Ghana.

After that morale-boosting 2-1 victory over Ghana under interim boss Finidi George, attention now turns to Nigeria's next encounter against Mali on March 26th.

As the squad regroups, Pulse Sports Nigeria spotlights three players who will be hoping to earn another chance and make their mark in the famous green and white jersey.

Nathan Tella

The Bayer Leverkusen winger only recently switched his allegiance from England to Nigeria but was a surprising omission from the Super Eagles' AFCON 2023 squad. 

The 24-year-old's pace, trickery and work rate could be a valuable asset out wide for Finid’s Eagles

Nathan Tella and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru are also looking to get game time in the Super Eagles.

At Leverkusen, Tella has proven to be a competent versatile player who has impressed as a deputy to Jeremie Frimpong at wingback. He could play that role in Finidi’s 3-5-2 shape.

Francis Uzoho

Once the undisputed No.1 in goal, Uzoho lost his place to Stanley Nwabali at the start of the ill-fated AFCON 2023 campaign.

Francis Uzoho has been a lightning rod for criticism from Nigerian fans since 2021 | Credit: IMAGO

Now, the 25-year-old, who is based in Cyprus, will be determined to wrestle back the gloves against the Chippa United shot-stopper.

Uzoho watched all the matches at the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast and a chance against Mali could give him another chance to show he still has it.

Stanley Nwabali | Credit: Instagram

Raphael Onyedika

Arguably Nigeria's most consistent defensive midfielder in Europe for seasons now, Onyedika has been criminally underused by the Super Eagles thus far. 

However, his impressive cameo against Ghana, where he started the move for Lookman's stunning goal, might signal a changing of the guard in that problematic position.

Belgium based Raphael Onyedika will also be hoping for more game time under Finidi George.

 Finidi would be wise to call upon the talents of these three individuals against Mali and beyond, with Nigerians eager to see them in action again. 

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