The Champions League this year sees a number of teams with key Nigerian internationals taking part as well as those pushing for international call ups. Porto, Benfica, Galatasary, Club Brugge, Lokomotiv Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk and Viktoria Plzen all have Nigerian players competing in the tournament.
So far it’s been a mixed experience for the Super Eagles’ special talents. Defender Brian Idowu made another start for Lokomotiv Moscow against Porto on matchday four. Since rising through the ranks of the Russian Premier League, Idowu made his third competitive start out of four Champions League games for the Moscow side.
But it’s been far from plain sailing for Idowu who signed his first contract with Lokomotiv in the summer. They’ve failed to register a win in the competition and currently sit rock bottom with zero points.
Idowu may have to wave bye bye to Champions League football this season, but the fortunes of Chidozie Awaziem’s Porto and Henry Onyekuru’s Galatasary are very much still in with a chance of making it out of Group D.
With two games left to play, Porto sit top with ten points. Galatasaray are currently third with four points, just two behind second place Schalke. It’s no wonder that one of Nigeria’s foremost betting sites bet9ja have good odds on both sides to make it out of the group. Onyekuru’s Turkish team will surely be eager to seal three points against Idowu’s Lokomotiv in the next round.
Across the continent Club Brugge inflicted damage on an out of sorts Monaco side, who have recently appointed World Cup winner Thierry Henry as their manager. The Belgian side are home to Abuja’s Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis who has made two Champions League appearances for the club up to date.
The likes of Tyronne Ebuehi’s Benfica, Olarenwaju Kayode’s Shakhtar Donetsk and Ubong Ekpai at Czech side Viktoria Plzen are also looking to make it out of tough groups. It’s even tougher to know who will make the grade, and if you’re still unsure on who to back then look no further than consulting a tailored review of online betting in Nigeria for optimal information on your betting options.
So far Nigeria’s Champions League stars have collected a number of caps between them, and are all looking to land a place in Gernot Rohr’s squad. Regardless of how well their club teams perform in the competition, or even how many minutes they play on pitch, any experience at top European level is a huge positive for the Super Eagles at national level as a whole.
Nigeria will need all the help and experience they can get to continue the run of good form in the African Cup of Nations qualification group that has already seen them collect three wins out of three against the Seychelles and twice against Libya. With tough fixtures against South Africa and Uganda on the horizon, the Super Eagles’ Champions League stars will have a lot to contribute to success at national level in the immediate and the distant future.