Super Eagles players and officials are expected to reconvene in Abuja next week to begin preparation for the Cote d’Ivoire 2024 African Cup of Nations qualifying games against Guinea Bissau.
The first of the doubleheader will hold at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on March 24 with the return leg coming up three days later in Bissau.
Super Eagles officials told The Guardian at the weekend that Europe-based players would start coming into the country from March 20, as the European leagues will observe an international break from March 20 to 28.
National team coach, Jose Peseiro, is expected to release the list of players he intends to use for the matches early this week after meeting with Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) chiefs.
Super Eagles’ Goalkeepers’ Trainer, Ike Shorunmu, disclosed, yesterday, that the technical crew has already started preparatory work ahead of the players’ arrival immediately after Saturday’s governorship elections.
He said, “our task, as Eagles’ assistant coaches, is to advice and also help Peseiro prepare the squad adequately for the tie. All hands are on deck to ensure the Eagles win the games home and away.”
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau’s Head Coach, Baciro Cande, has unveiled a 25-man squad for the matches against Nigeria.
Among the top stars on the list are CD Feirense of Portugal forward, Esmiraldo Sa da Silva, Waregem’s Zinho Gano and Mamadi Camara, who plays for SkyBet Championship club, Reading.
According to reports, the Djurtus, as the Guinea Bissau national team is also known, will open camp for the qualifiers on Sunday, March 19 and travel to Abuja two days later.
The first leg is billed for the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on March 24, while the reverse fixture will hold in Marrakech, Morocco on March 28.
The match can’t hold in Guinea-Bissau, as they do not have a Confederation of African Football (CAF) approved playing turf. The reverse fixture was earlier slated to hold at the 24 de Setembro Nacional Stadium, Bissau.
The Super Eagles won their opening two games in the qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe to occupy the top spot in the group with nine points from three games, while the Djurtus occupy the second spot with four points from the same number of matches.
Victory in both matches (against Guinea- Bissau) will see Jose Peseiro’s side qualify for the 2023 AFCON with two games in hand.
Cote d’Ivoire will host the competition for the second time after staging the 1984 edition.