Int’l friendly: Nigeria, Senegal meet in heavyweight clash

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Ikeme ruled out by injury

By Monica Iheakam and Bunmi Ogunyale

West African heavyweights Nigeria and Senegal will meet in an international friendly  at the Hive Stadium in London today.

News coming out of London indicates that the game would be watched by a scanty crowd, given the low sale of tickets ahead of the game.

Both teams will be using the match as preparation for group phase qualifiers in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which gets underway with matchday one fixtures in June.

The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group E and will begin their campaign with a clash at home to South Africa, while the Teranga Lions start their Group A campaign by hosting Equatorial Guinea.

Nigeria and Senegal have met in 15 official international matches according to FIFA’s statistical database.

The Super Eagles have claimed eight wins compared to four for the Teranga Lions, while three matches have been drawn.

The teams have further friendlies lined up for the international window: Nigeria will battle Burkina Faso on March 27, while Senegal take on the Ivory Coast on the same day.Both teams have called up strong selections for the matches.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme has been effectively ruled out of today’s game due to injury.

Camp sources revealed that the Wolvehampton Wanderers of England goalie was missing in the team’s final training session yesterday due to a knock.

With Ikeme out injured, the Eagles’ gaffer Gernot Rohr drafted in relatively unknown goalkeeper, Tope

Okeowo of Peckham All Stars as replacement.

Okeowo may man the post for Nigeria should the other invited goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa fail to hit camp in time. Akpeyi and Ezenwa were delayed by visa issues.

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