Peseiro Rules out Osimhen, Chukwueze from Lesotho  Clash

Peseiro Rules out Osimhen, Chukwueze from Lesotho  Clash

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

Recuperating Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze have been ruled out of Nigeria’s squad to kick off the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe next weekend.

Super Eagles Head Coach, Jose Santos Peseiro, has confirmed the absence of the two key players who suffered hamstring injuries during Nigeria’s international friendlies with Saudi Arabia and Mozambique last month in Portugal.

Although both Osimhen and Chukwueze have resumed training at Napoli and AC Milan respective, the Portuguese gaffer appears to have heeded calls by stakeholders in the country’s football to allow them recover fully on the sideline.

Peseiro told an online news medium TV Play that he was not going to risk the duo in the clashes with Lesotho and Zimbabwe to avoid injuries that may prevent them from representing Nigeria at the AFCON 2023 kicking off in Côte d’Ivoire in January.

“Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen will not be called up during the next break. We want to avoid any risks,” Peseiro told  TV Play.

“I am very sorry for their injuries, the clubs pay the players and we constantly collaborate with them,” stressed the coach who is sad that both players have not been able to play for their respective clubs after the FIFA window.

Lesotho’s Likuena will take on the Super Eagles  on November 16 in Uyo and four days later in Rwanda against Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, leading newspaper in Lesotho, the Lesotho Times is celebrating the absence of some key players for the Super Eagles. It titled its story “Relief as key Nigerian players are ruled out of Likuena tie.”

“The Super Eagles are battling to overcome these injury concerns as they prepare to face Likuena who are eager to cause an upset at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

”The Super Eagles are ranked number 40 on the FIFA Coca-Cola world ranking while Likuena are ranked number 153.

”The injury concerns are threatening to disrupt Super Eagles’s coach Jose Peseiro’s hunt for a World Cup ticket after the team missed out on the 2022 World Cup,” the newspaper reported gleefully yesterday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is expected to announce Peseiro’s squad for the two key matches any moment from today.

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