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2026 WCQ: Dele -Bashiru,Ajayi Fit To Face Benin Republic

2026 WCQ: Dele -Bashiru,Ajayi Fit To Face Benin Republic

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Semi Ajayi are available for Nigeria’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture against the Cheetahs of Benin Republic.

The duo took part in the Super Eagles final training session before the game on Sunday night.

Dele-Bashiru scored Nigeria’s only goal in the 1-1 draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa last Friday.

Read Also:Euro 2024: Four contenders For Young Player Of The Tournament

The Hatayspor of Turkey midfielder was however replaced by Alhassan Yusuf in the 61st minute after sustaining an injury.

Centre-back Ajayi left the pitch 10 minutes from time after picking up a knock.

The West Bromwich Albion star was replaced by Raphael Onyedika.

Monday’s encounter will hold at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan.

Kick- off time is 5pm Nigeria time.

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  • Sunny 2 days ago

    Goodstuff. Dele-Bashiru is too important in this team for him to be droppped. He brings flair and physicality to the midfield, something the team had hitherto been missing. My appeal is for every Nigerian to back the new coach, even if he is not your cup of tea. He has been picked to be the coach and we have no choice than to back him. He is not perfect but again, who is perfect in this life?

    • You’re right Sunny. No one is perfect. But he should understand what football is to Nigerians. He should not be making terrible errors like this. Nigerians will come for his head.

      Did you read his interview. Pompous and arrogant. We should allow him his job. Which job? The one he is doing committing blunders.

      I want you to check out something today. Onuachu will be on the bench and Boniface will start. He ll try to correct his blunders.

      He did that to ademola during the friendlies. The reason why ademola had to start by all means against SA despite coming late to camp. He doesn’t seem to know what he wants. The post is bigger than his head and mind.

      My appeal is to the players. Go out there and do everything to qualify. Just as iwobi stepped up the plate in the second half. Just like Bashirru stepped up to produce that goal. Just like chukuwueze did so much when he came in

      • Sunny 2 days ago

        I understand what you are saying and you have every right to be upset. Nevertheless, it is still the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the team belongs to all of us. We all cannot be the coach hence someone has to be in charge. Currently, he is the one in charge. Let him lead the team because that is what he is paid to do. The only way we can help the team is to back the team everytime they get on the pitch.

        • Papafem 2 days ago

          We will support him, but he should not with our emotions. He policy summersaulted, otherwise, he would have fielded onuachu again in this match. Dropping Kelechi is a good move. We want pace in the final third, and Onuachu/Kelechi won’t give us that

      • Tod_ 2 days ago

        I totally agree with you here…the coach just look so ordinary and like someone that has not added value to his career since he stopped playing football…looking like someone that is heavily drunk.. ridding on old glory, and very arrogant…He dances to everyone’s tunes (His ex-team mate and some powrful people are having more and great influence on him nodoubt)…we stil have to support him..becasue failue to win today or record any loss…i bet you, Nigerians will chop of His head..He should not return to naija o…i’m only borrowing him my 2 cents

      • Sunkaino 2 days ago

        With the present form of Ademola, no coach (with the players in camp) will leave him on the bench

    • Sportradio88.0 fm 2 days ago

      Wen. I see the team list I wil tell the score immediately.
      Against south Africa ,after I saw the list one hour before game started . I felt cold a bit , onuachu ikanacho,iwobi, these are legs that only wait for their opponent to lose the ball. They don’t mark . And dey easily loss the ball if tackle hard by opponent.
      So I said maybe the coach wants to be sending long ball to the box .
      But in the first 15mins south Africa used their half to penetrate into eagles defense 1 2 3 times before they found out that it is possible to even do same in eagles box .and dey tried it 1 2 3 passes and it ended in the net.south Africa 1 and eagles 0.
      At this point the eagles coach was feeling bad standing.he could not look back at the bench not to talk of the spectators at his back .
      The sA still came knocking on the door of the eagles in fact if finidi has his way he would have ran out of the stadium.but again the referee ended the first half.
      In the second half the goal came. And things changed for the better.
      If the game has ended one goal in favor of sA . I m sure finidi wil not be able to tell the press that everyone is a coach in Nigeria .the first half shows the reason y players must come to camp early.
      The first half shows reason y the eagles must play friendly game during camp time with a local team to strengthen their game plan .

      The first half shows wat some players do in their clubs and reason dey are not in team list .or reserve teams.
      Also the second half shows wat some guys are up to in their clubs .

      • Sportradio88.0 fm 2 days ago

        Stanley Calvin, ajayi,taminu osayi ndidi, frank ,iwobi,ademola,moffi, chukeze.
        To start.. ok
        Dey shud remember Benin hasn’t won a game against Nigeria and today shud not be an exemption.
        Live from Abidjan.

  • Tod_ 2 days ago

    we have no choice than accept what we have on the table just as we dey manage wetin economy dey throw at us now.. personally, Finidi is never my candidate, but, as it’s nothing i can do as i can’t afford to miss another world cup

    na simple twist the coach need in the the team…since he has decided to start a new brand of Eagles slightly different from eagles that came second in the nations cup.

    1. Coach should use Onyeka, dele and iwobi or Yusus…not necessary he use Ndidi…He needs to control the mid-field

    2. Coach should tighten up His defence well..play the guys in their best position. in the absent of king Ekong..he needs to use Kenneth

    3. Onuachu is not needed…He should use him the way Mr. Pesiro used in during afcon..5mins to the end of game…just to hold up and waste time…he’s not an ideal starter in Super Eagles.

    wondering why EKONG, AINA AND SIMON were missing though..i know Oshimen was injured

    • Your point 1 will not work oh. Who will “captain” the team?

    • @Tod_ Ndidi was the Man of the match in that Game go and ask anybody who can read a game which was collaborated by every fan in Uyo Stadium. Some of you people sef nawa oo.

      • Respect is reciprocal 2 days ago

        Just because fans in Uyo pointed to Ndindi as man of the match ,should we also accept him as the man of the match. Opinion different now.

      • Tod_ 2 days ago

        i guess if Omeruo plays, then he captain the team.

        in between Ndidi and Onyeka…i go for Onyeka..i still believe, Onyeka can offer more in the defensive midfield… but, i no be coach…let allow the coach to do His work..but, we all watch football and we can rate players without being bias

        • @Tod_ just keep mute you sounding wierd now. there is no way Onyeka comes close to Ndidi not even possible. Just keep quite this is how you people supported everything Onuachu until you saw first hand. Now you trying to Campaign for our best Midfielder to be benched?. who is Onyeka compared to Ndidi? even Onyeka himself will tell you you are wrong. Now you bring Omeruo name up. a player who is not even in Camp?.guy relax abeg take am easy

          • Tod_ 2 days ago

            Mr. Ugo Iwunze, please learn to be cultured with your choice of words you are more matured than the nonsense you typed above…this is my candid openion and i dont think you have the right to to ask me to keep quite….ONYEKA is mile ahead of NDIDI…did we miss him during afcon?…if you are not cool with my submission..state your point and move on pls

      • Dr. Drey 2 days ago

        Hahahaha….in which of your wildest imaginations was Ndidi MOTM in a game where Fisayo Dele Bashiru stole all the headlines….LMAOooo.

        Almost every player ratings you find every rate FDB highest of all the players that played that game.

        Every fan in the stadium ko….every drug addict in the rehab ni.

        I guess you interviewed your “every fan in the stadium” before coming up with this bogus lie…..LMAooo

        • @Dr Drey There is no way Onyeka benches Oyinye Ndidi you can aswell wake up from you slumber, Moreover Onyeka is already a Bench warmer at club so it is not In SE he will come and be benching a first team player not only a first team player one that was considered at some point in fact for a good 3years as the best CDM in the Prem is it Onyeka who can’t even nail down a starting spot in the prem that will come and start benching him in the Super Eagles?. lol next Joke….

          A goal does not Make you automatically MOTM, Ndidi if you people don’t know is like Claude Makalele until you make the mistake to remove him is when you will see his importance to the team Like Real Madrid found out in the Early 2000’s with Makalele

        • @Dr Drey Do your self a Favour and Watch football Fans Tribe. You think Ndidi is your mate?

  • Mike 2 days ago

    Coach Finidi secures a convincing victory against Rohr boys with the following lineup:

    Nwabili remains between the sticks…

    Ajayi, Bright, Bassey, Tanimu in defense but make it an all wide open play…

    Play Bashiru, Alhassan and Frank in the middle…

    Lookman, Boni and Chukwueze to compliment the attacking half…

    Subs : ndidi, iwobi and others who haven’t really done much.

    • Tod_ 2 days ago

      i agree with you brother..Ndidi, Ihenachor, Onuachu has to be on the bench lolz..you will see their best when they come in as a sub

    • Yetunde 2 days ago

      Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, ooo!!! No confused our ardent fans o!

    • Larry 2 days ago

      @Mike, spot-on.
      The best line-up !


    “For me, I want to see attractive football,” said Coach Finidi in the Press Conference after the the 1:1 draw to South Africa, sitting beside Ndidi.

    “You must risk if you want to win; you can’t just sit back and just feel the goals with come. You have to enforce it. You cannot just kick and run, score a goal and say you’ve won; you have to play good football.”

    Finidi is starting to talk-the-talk. I was astonished seeing him talk in that Press Conference. He has started shedding the image of that shy, timid coach.

    He was in a no-nonsense attitude. On why he didn’t remove Onuachu even after the fans in the stadium were urging him to, Finidi said:”nobody will tell me when to change a player; that will never happen; everybody is a coach today; people can speak what they want; I will only take out players based on my own judgement.”

    So, Finidi want to fail where the immediate 3 Super Eagles coaches failed. Rohr used unattractive football to achieve attractive results (in tournament qualifications and afcon bronze). Eguavoen used attractive football to achieve unattractive results (in world cup qualification and afcon failures) whilst Peseiro used unattractive football to achieve attractive result in afcon silver.

    Now Finidi is promising us attractive football with attractive results.

    It’s a tall order if you ask me and I think he is trying to hang his hat where his hands cannot reach. I pray I am proved wrong and wish him all the best.

    • correction:

      ***So, Finidi want to fly where the immediate 3 Super Eagles coaches failed. Rohr used unattractive football to achieve attractive results (in tournament qualifications and afcon bronze). Eguavoen used attractive football to achieve unattractive results (in world cup qualification and afcon failures) whilst Peseiro used unattractive football to achieve attractive result (in afcon silver).

      • @deo

        we can still have both.

        Play a good a game and get the result. I call it productive football.

        Be initiative and discipline. And if the game goes against your plan, be flexible enough to improvise. We should always be a step ahead and open minded enough to react accordingly if plans don’t go accordingly.

  • @deo

    we can still have both.

    Play a good a game and get the result. I call it productive football.

    Be initiative and discipline. And if the game goes against your plan, be flexible enough to improvise. We should always be a step ahead and open minded enough to react accordingly if plans don’t go accordingly.

  • Larry 2 days ago

    My problem with Finidi is that he is ignorant, rigid and delusional. He is sounding and acting like he was on life support under Pesseiro. All he needed to do was to improve the attacking strength as Pesseiro had already tighten the defence.
    Why infiltrate the team with senior bench warmers, highest own goal scorer, and lower league champ ?
    At least two actions are required:
    I. Stop invitations to players that have been with the team for ar least 3years without any improvement.
    II. Replace these serial underperformers with players that could have been in the team based on
    past performace and level.of club activity.
    AFCON has showed that Ekong,Lookman, Aina, Nwabali, Onyeka, Bassey, Ajayi, and Alhassan are the mainstays of the team.
    The AFCON team needs to be upgraded with top players.
    Missing ones: Boni, Awo, and Ndidi,
    New players like Fisayo, Tella, Ogbu,
    Feederick, Osho….
    It’s not a rocket science!!

    • Kenneth 2 days ago

      You didn’t mention the players that he needs to kick out. Was Ndidi not in the team, what did he do. Didn’t Boniface feature in the game, what did he bring to the table. When he now decides to kick certain players out that’s when you all start calling for his head.

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