Nigeria Stars Battle For UCL Group Stage Spots

By Johnny Edward:

Four Nigeria internationals; Aaron Samuel, Emmanuel Emenike, John Ogu and Anthony Nwakeame will on Tuesday and Wednesday fight in the playoffs of UEFA Champions League with their respective clubs,  for places in he group stages of the competition,  Completesportsnigeria.com reports.‎

Aaron Samuel will look to build on his goal scoring feat in the Third Round of the competition for CSKA Moscow when they travel to Switzerland to face Young Boys in the first leg of their fixture on Tuesday. 

Samuel has so far had 21 minutes of action in the competition.

On Wednesday, Emenike, is expected to lead Olympiakos' attacking line when they host Rijeka who are aiming for their first appearance in the group stages of the competition in the first leg of their playoff tie at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

Emenike had featured for Spatark Moscow and Fenerbahce in the competition in the past.

Having made one cameo appearance in the competition for the Greek champions scoring once, the 30 year old will look to add to his tally of six goals in eight UEFA Champions League qualifying games.

The second leg of this tie will hold in Croatia  on the 22nd of August.

In Israel, the duo of John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme will hope to go a step further in breaking the Hapoel Be'er Sheva's jinx of not qualifying for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League when they take on Slovenian side Maribor over two legs.

The Camels lost 5-4 on aggregate to Celtic at this stage last season and will be hoping lighting does not strike twice.

Nwakaeme who is Nigeria's top scorer in the competition with three goals and three assists in four games will play his 11th game in the qualifying round if he features in the encounter.

His bosom friend, Ogu has scored twice in 10 qualifying round games. He is poised for his 11th on Wednesday at the Turner Stadium in Israel.

 

UEFA Champions League Playoff Fixtures

Tuesday, August 15

Qarabag FK vs FC Koebenhavn

APOEL Nicosia vs Slavia Prague

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool

Sporting CP vs FC FCSB

Young Boys vs CSKA Moscow

 

Wednesday August 16

Celtic vs FC Astana

Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Maribor

Istanbul Basaksehir vs Sevilla

Olympiacos vs Rijeka

SSC Napoli vs Nice

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