Round of 32: Osimhen, Chukwueze, 11 Nigerians chase Europa glory

13 Nigerians will be involved in the round of 32 fixtures of the 2020/2021 UEFA Europa League when it kicks off in February.

The draw which was conducted on Monday will see Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho both with Leicester City face Peter Olayinka’s Slavia Praha.

In the knockout stage, Ndidi is expected to play a prominent role for the Foxes after returning from injury while Iheanacho should continue his goal-scoring form after contributing three goals in six matches in the group stage.

More playing time will be expected from Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun in the colours of Scottish side Rangers while away to Belgian side, Antwerp while Spanish side Villarreal and Samuel Chukwueze are away to Salzburg in Austria in the first leg.

Victor Osimhen will be looking forward to his first Europa outing with Napoli against Granada who parades another Nigerian, Ramon Azeez.

New Super Eagles defender, Kevin Akpoguma, will continue his Europa League adventure with Hoffenheim when they tackle Norwegian side, Molde who have Leke James on their payroll.

The duo of Emmanuel Dennis and David Okereke should be in action for Club Brugge as they aim for the last eight against Dynamo Kyiv. At the Emirates, Bukayo Saka will be in action against the Portuguese side, Benfica.

read also:Napoli doctor: ‘Osimhen was lucky, he could have had more serious damages’

It is uncertain if Manchester United would renew Odion Ighalo’s loan contract which expires next month ahead of their Europa clash against Spanish opponents Real Sociedad.

All these players will be battling to join the quartet of Taribo West, Chidi Odiah, John Obi Mikel and Víctor Moses who have won the trophy with their respective clubs.

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