Ameobi and Dike to start for Nigeria against Italy

The Super Eagles will feature seven new faces in the starting XI against the Azzurri in London on Monday evening

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has opted for a changed line up against Italy in Monday evening’s international friendly at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

The match will see seven players who were on the bench in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia start tonight’s match.

Up front, Keshi has opted for Newcastle United forward Shola Ameobi and Toronto FC striker Bright Dike instead of Emmanuel Emenike and Brown Ideye. They will play alongside Liverpool’s Victor Moses in a three-pronged attack. 

The lone midfield change is Brescia’s Nnamdi Oduamadi who will pair up with Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Lazio’s Ogenyi Onazi.

In defence where Keshi made three changes, Rizespor’s Godfrey Oboabona (who keeps his place from the game against Ethiopia) will be joined by Nigeria Premier League-based trio of Azubuike Egwuekwe of Warri Wolves, Solomon Kwambe of  Sunshine Stars and Benjamin Francis of Heartland.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama loses his place to Austin Ejide as Keshi prepares his team for the World Cup.

The last time both counties met was at the 1994 World Cup where the Italians won 2-1 courtesy of two late goals from Roberto Baggio.

Nigeria XI vs Italy: Ejide; Kwambe, Oboabona, Egwuekwe, Francis; Onazi, Mikel, Oduamadi; Moses, Dike, Ameobi