Chukwueze ready for Real Madrid as Nigeria Players Return to Club Action


Football Live action returns after the last international break for the year, and it would be all systems go as league campaigns take shape and clubs find where they belong.


The peculiarities of the Covid times still bite and with injuries continuing to rise, things can only get trickier.

In Spain, the action begins at 2pm, when Levante host Elche at the Ciutat Valencia, the Granotas are winless at home in 2020/2021, with the visitors having clinched two wins on the road.


However, Paco Lopez will take consolation from the fact that, Levante have not lost to Elche at home in 30 years.


At 4:15pm, Samuel Chukwueze and Villarreal host Real Madrid at the Estadio Ceramica.


Villarreal have lost just once across all competitions this term, the hiding at the Camp Nou.


Unai Emery will hope not to relieve the experience, with the 16 losses suffered against Los Merengues making them his second bogey team.


There has however been no winner in this fixture since Alvaro Morata netted a late winner in 2017, with three 2-2 draws swiftly following.


Real will hope they are better than their last visit to Valencia, when they conceded a hat-trick of penalties and served up a defensive disaster-class.


Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla host Celta Vigo at 6:30pm at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, looking to extend a 5-game unbeaten home record against la Celeste while keeping an eye on their return clash against Krasnodar in Russia.


In Italy, the battle begins at 3pm, with Crotone and Simy Nwankwo in search of a significant three points when they host Champions League Lazio.


The Biancocelesti have never won at the Stadio Ezio Scida, and with six first team players missing due to the coronavirus and a possible investigation, it is imperative Simeone Inzaghi’s men break this jinx now.


Lazio are unbeaten in six competitive matches (W3, D3) ahead of this clash, but must keep an eye on Simy Nwankwo.


The Nigerian forward is the Calabrians go-to guy and has netted both goals his side have scored at home this term in the league.

In Germany, there are five games that kick off on the Bundesliga’s return time of 3:30pm, Armenia Bielefeld host Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach host Augsburg, winless Schalke host Wolfsburg, dominant Bayern host Werder Bremen and Kevin Akpoguma will hope to put his international nightmare behind him when Hoffenheim host Stuttgart.

Leverkusen have not won in the Bundesliga at Bielefeld since 1999; while Augsburg are looking to end a similar five-year drought at Borussia park; Free-scoring Bayern face a resurgent Bremen side hoping to snap a 12-year winless record against them, and while Hansi Flick may be missing six first team players, the Hydra has always found a way against their opponents.


Nigerian players will be in action, with statements being made for the March internationals already beginning from now; an early table-topping six pointer will take place between Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke and Nnamdi Oforboh when they host Reading who have Ovie Ejaria, Michael Olise and Omatsone Aluko at 1:30pm at the Vitality stadium.

Sammy Ameobi and Nottingham travel to Barnsley in one of the 4pm kickoffs, the same time Chuba Akpom will go in search of his second goal for Middlesbrough when they host Norwich at the Riverside.


Osas Urhogide will not feature, but Oluwafisayo Dele-Bashiru, Dominic Iorfa Jr and Moses Odubajo should for Sheffield Wednesday when they travel to Preston.


Bright Osayi-Samuel and William Troost-Ekong then face off when QPR host Watford, while John Obi-Mikel and Stoke host Huddersfield Town.


Wycombe’s Fred Onyedinma and Adebayo Akinfenwa host last season’s playoff finalists, Brentford in the last fixture of the time slot.

In South Africa, Daniel Akpeyi and Kaizer Chiefs are at Black Leopards, while Stanley Dimgba could make his PSL debut for Stellenbosch against Augustine Chidi and Chippa United.

In Turkey, Olanrewaju Kayode and Sivasspor travel to Fatih Karamguruk by 11:30am, the forward is yet to get on the scoresheet in the league, a contrast to his fortunes in the Europa League where he has scored in every game; Azubuike Okechukwu and Basaksehir face Besiktas in the late kick off, with the midfielder in search of his first appearance of the season.


Across the border in Russia, Sly Igboun and Victor Moses face off when Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow at 5pm.


In Scotland, Marios Ogboe and Hamilton travel to Dundee United at 4pm, the forward has scored only once in the league this season while, Livingston and Efe Ambrose host Saint Mirren.

In Austria, Chinedu Obasi and SC Altach host Wolfsberger AC at 5pm, the Olympic Silver Medalist is yet to score this season.

Samson Tijani and TSV Hartberg host Tobias Lawal and LASK Linz.

Over in Belgium, Junior Pius and Royal Antwerp travel to Oostende at 6:30pm, the defender has netted twice in the league this season, and has missed the last 6 weeks of action injured, it will be touch and go till kick off for him.


Ike Ugbo and Cercle Brugge travel to Waasland Beveren at the same time, and the youngster will be in search of his sixth league goal of the season.


Emmanuel Dennis, David Okereke and Club Brugge KV host KV Kortrijk at 8:45pm, with both still looking to find the form that gave them the spotlight last season.


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