Nigeria vs Sao Tome & Principe is a dead rubber.
The Super Eagles have already confirmed their spot at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.
The three-time African champions go into the match top of Group A with 12 points.
Nigeria have two more points than Guinea-Bissau in second place and welcome Sierra Leone in their last fixture.
The game at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is also expected to be something of a walkover, as Jose Peseiro’s men thrashed the True Patriots 10-0 in the reverse fixture.
Peseiro himself only got confirmation this week that he will continue in the role.
The 63-year-old signed a new contract on reduced terms and the deal will expire at the end of the AFCON.
Telema Davies, Strategy Consultant and Coordinating Secretary, Sport Nigeria LTD/GTE, has mixed reactions to his reappointment.
“A significant metric to justify the reappointment of Jose Peseiro is the term of reference (details of his contract) for which he was appointed initially, and which informed his reapportionment,” Davies tells DAILY POST.
“We must at every point, refer to his ToR to provide the premise to offer feedback on his performance as coach of the most recognised national team brand of Nigeria, the Super Eagles.
“Prior to his reapportionment, Peseiro had overseen seven games in which he only won two matches (approximately 28% win) which at first glance is a poor turnover rate.
“What then informs his reappointment? It’s difficult to rationalise the basis but he’s got the job and we’ll keep an eye on how far he goes with the senior men’s national team with qualification for the AFCON being the immediate priority.
“Result is the name of the game; Peseiro needs good results to win the interest and support of Nigerians and not just the NFF, his direct employers.”
So essentially, Peseiro can count this Sao Tome fixture as one of his preparatory games for the AFCON.
There will be only one more international break before the tournament.
What can we expect?
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve been struggling with teams that we should be decisive in producing convincing wins,” Davies said.
“The Super Eagles must deliver the win ahead of the AFCON in Cotê d’Ivoire.
“Peseiro has to be bullish in demanding nothing less than a convincing win from the Super Eagles and should make it clear, through his decisions and actions, that there will be no room for complacency,” he added.
It is not surprising that Peseiro has invited all the in-form Nigerian strikers plying their trade in Europe.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli), Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen), Gift Orban (Gent) and Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest) have reported in camp.
Between them, they have plundered 12 goals already this season.
Peseiro might want to use the game to take a proper look at Boniface and Orban, as he is very familiar with Osimhen and Awoniyi.
“We’re truly fortunate to have the kind of talents we can boast of in recent times, whether established and emerging.
“I’m particularly thrilled about Taiwo Awoniyi’s continued rise on the global stage and the dynamics of what he brings to the team.
“Our frontline presents an exciting prospect of what the future holds, but I think focus will be on the wealth, skill, depth, and creativity of our midfield.
“You can’t have an absolute and scary striking department and not have the kind of midfield that ensures the right play between defence and the attack.
“We have to get the balance, the shape, the press and supply right to come out on top,” Davies added.