The 2018 Europa League winners, Atletico Madrid, are scheduled to play against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on May 22.
In this Multichoice and LaLiga-sponsored encounter tagged the GOtv MAX Cup, Nigerians expect their Team B to put up a courageous, tactical and entertaining show against the Europa League reigning champions at Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
The friendly match marks Atleti’s first visit to Nigeria and the LaLiga giants are hoping to teach their Super Eagles counterpart a painful lesson.
Star players from the visiting team who are not taking part in preparations for the upcoming 2018 World Cup like Ghana’s Thomas Partey, Jan Oblak, Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro are expected to feature in the match against Salisu Yusuf’s men.
However, the friendly encounter will present a litmus test for Yusuf’s men whose performance could guarantee a chance for permanent shirts in the senior national team – but definitely not an inclusion for this year’s World Cup in Russia.
The match kicks off at 6:00pm (West African Time) on Tuesday and gates will be open by 11:00am to allow fans purchase their tickets without hassles and take part in complementary activities such as a pre-match music extravaganza, photo booths and locker room experience.
Viewers at home are advised to stay tuned to SuperSport Select 1 for a full coverage of the football event.
Meanwhile, Everton has played against Tanzania and Barcelona had a wonderful time against the South African team.
This friendly match between Atleti and Nigeria B is the first of its kind and it is largely expected that both teams will strive to make bold statements, especially for the bulk of players from Nigeria’s professional football league. Other foreign-based players with impressive records from their respective league games will be offered a chance to write their names in gold.
While the Spaniards are considered favorites, football pundits believe Nigeria has equally strong stakes since Diego Simeone is most likely to feature several fringe players.
Atleti have good records against Barcelona, Sevilla and Real Madrid, yet, they usually play with a conservative approach which doesn’t portray them as “ferocious attackers” despite having an abundance of talents. As LaLiga’s 8th highest goal scorers, the Spanish football team may not produce lots of goals but their solid defence set-up could prove a hard nut to crack.
However, Nigeria’s main source of concern is the midfield. If the Super Eagles play with a sharp and tactically strong team, they will surely record a successful outing against Atletico Madrid.
This match represents another opportunity for players to market themselves, considering that scouts are expected to watch from the stands.