Nigeria vs Ghana: Top 4 Players Who Will Miss 'Jollof Derby'

Nigeria vs Ghana: Top 4 Players Who Will Miss 'Jollof Derby'

Isaac Darko
updated at March 21, 2024 at 5:21 PM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
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Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
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Mohammed Kudus logo
West Ham United logoMGhana logo
Thomas Partey logo
Arsenal logoMGhana logo
  • Nigeria locks horns with Ghana in a friendly match this week
  • Some key players have been ruled out of the 'jollof derby'
  • Here are the top players who will be conspicuously absent

The longstanding rivals Nigeria and Ghana are set to clash in an international friendly later this week.

This marks the first occasion for either nation to take to the field since experiencing heartbreak at the Africa Cup of Nations, albeit at different stages of the tournament.

The Super Eagles suffered defeat in the final against hosts Ivory Coast, while the Black Stars exited the tournament during the group stage.

Thomas Partey, Victor Osimhen and Mohammed Kudus have been ruled out of the Nigeria vs Ghana game
Thomas Partey, Victor Osimhen and Mohammed Kudus have been ruled out of the Nigeria vs Ghana game. Photos by Franco Romano/David Price/Rob Newell.
Source: Getty Images

Eventually, the four-time African champions dismissed head coach Chris Hughton, who has since been temporarily replaced by Otto Addo.

Following the departure of Jose Peseiro, Finidi George will take charge of Nigeria's affairs.

Dubbed 'Jollof Derby', the much-anticipated clash between the West African giants are looming on the horizon.

However, the excitement going into the game is tinged with disappointment as key players from both teams have been ruled out of the game.

The Nigeria vs Ghana match is set to kick off at 3pm GMT on Friday, March 22, 2024. The Grand de Stade Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco, will serve as the host venue.

Sports Brief takes a look at the top four players who will be conspicuously absent from the showdown:

Stars to miss Nigeria vs Ghana

Victor Osimhen

The reigning CAF Footballer of the Year, currently playing for Napoli, is grappling with inflammation from a previous injury scar.

Osimhen was absent from his club's training sessions last week and remained unused on the bench during their recent 1-1 draw with Inter Milan in Serie A.

Reports from Punch NG indicate that he has been officially ruled out of the March international break, thus sidelining him for Nigeria's upcoming matches against Ghana and Mali.

Mohammed Kudus

Initially included in Otto Addo's squad for the upcoming matches, the West Ham United star is now slated to miss both games due to injury.

According to reports from 3Sports, Kudus experienced shoulder discomfort during West Ham's recent 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, despite completing the full 90 minutes.

The former Nordsjaelland midfielder is expected to remain in London to recover from the shoulder injury.

Despite this setback, the 23-year-old has showcased exceptional form for David Moyes' side this season, tallying 11 goals and providing four assists. Notably, he netted a brace against Freiburg in the Europa League earlier in the week.

Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey has opted to remain at Arsenal during the international break to focus on rebuilding his fitness, despite a last-minute attempt by Ghana to call him up.

Initially not selected by Ghana due to concerns over his recent fitness struggles, the midfielder's national team reconsidered, reaching out to Arsenal to inquire about his availability for upcoming friendlies against Nigeria and Uganda in Morocco.

However, given his recent injury lay-off, it has been deemed more beneficial for Partey to stay in London and undergo training sessions.

This decision aligns with preparations for Arsenal's crucial Premier League encounter against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on March 31.

Taiwo Awoniyi

Once again, Super Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi finds himself sidelined due to injury.

Expected to spearhead Nottingham Forest's attack against Luton Town FC on Saturday, it was announced just hours before the game that the Nigerian international had succumbed to injury.

He will therefore miss several games, effectively ruling him out of the upcoming international friendly matches against the Black Stars of Ghana and Eagles of Mali.

Awoniyi's absence from the 2023 African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast was also due to injury, and persistent fitness issues have significantly limited his appearances for the national team.

Finidi George's warning to Ghana

Sports Brief earlier reported on Nigeria's interim coach, Finidi George, sending a warning to Ghana ahead of their friendly encounter.

The AFCON winner, who was part of Jose Peseiro's coaching staff, said his team is taking their match against Ghana seriously and are looking for a positive result.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)