New Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George, faces a new injury challenge ahead of his debut game at the helm of the Nigerian national team.

The former Real Betis forward, was unveiled by the Nigeria Football Federation as the successor to Jose Peseiro after an extensive six-week search for the ideal replacement.

His first major test comes in Nigeria’s upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic.
Three key players from the Super Eagles’ 2023 Africa Cup of Nations squad are set to miss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Samuel Chukwueze’s fitness is in doubt following an injury during AC Milan’s recent match against Cagliari.

The extent of his left thigh muscle problem remains uncertain, casting doubt on his availability for Nigeria. Meanwhile, Victor Osimhen missed Napoli’s Monday training session due to a muscle strain sustained against Bologna, leaving his navailability uncertainfor George’s side.

In addition, left-back Bruno Onyemaechi has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to a knee injury. With the Super Eagles also sweating over the fitness of Zaidu Sanusi, and Moses Simon. As the new head coach, Finidi aims to guide the Super Eagles to qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup for the first time since 2018.

Meanwhile, Former international Victor Ikpeba has warned that the Super Eagles must be ready for a difficult test against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

The three-time African champions will host Hugo Broos’ side in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matchday three encounter on Friday, June 7.

The encounter is slated for Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The Super Eagles are yet to record a win in the qualifiers, with two draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Ikpeba insisted that they must be at at their best against the South Africans.

“The game against South Africa is the game of our lives,” declared Ikpeba on Supersports Monday Night Football. “Finidi has the players having only recently reached the final of the AFCON, which was one of the toughest ever. “The boys know what is at stake.

“They have to be focused and make the necessary sacrifices to ensure they beat South Africa. “It won’t be easy, but it can be done.”