November 15, (THEWILL) – Nathan Tella is set to make his first appearance for the Nigerian national team when they face Lesotho in a 2026 World Cup qualifier on Thursday. The match will take place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, with kick-off at 5pm local time.
The 24-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger has been called up by manager, Jose Peseiro, after impressing in the Bundesliga this season. Tella, who was born in England, but qualifies for Nigeria through his parents, starred for Burnley as they won promotion to the English Premier League last season. He then signed for Leverkusen in August after returning to parent club, Southampton.
With key striker, Victor Osimhen, missing due to injury, Tella could make his Super Eagles debut in attack against Lesotho. He is excited at the prospect: “It’s always been about representing Nigeria. My family will be over the moon to watch me fulfil that dream.”
Nigeria go into the game unbeaten in their last five matches. They will look to use the World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe to prepare for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations next year.
Lesotho failed to reach the AFCON after losing all their qualifiers in Group H. Managed by Leslie Notsi, they face an uphill battle to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the group stage, with South Africa, Rwanda, Benin and Zimbabwe also contesting Group C.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.