As the group stages of the UEFA Champions League come to an end today and tomorrow, some Nigerian strikers will be in the spotlight as they try to either take their teams to the round of 16 or the Europa League while some are just out to redeem their images as their clubs have been already knocked out.
Real Madrid will make the trip to Jan Breydel Stadium on Wednesday for their last UEFA Champions League group stage game with little riding on their own eventual outcome from the clash with their hosts, Club Brugge, are already out of the running for a qualifying spot.
But the Belgian team is still with a shouting chance of qualification for the Europa League and it will be very important for Nigerian duo of Emmanuel Bonaventure and David Okereke as they hope to turn the tides against their more illustrious opponents.
Philippe Clement’s charges sit third on the group table, a point above basement side Galatasaray, and Dennis will hope to score against Madrid after his brace when the teams first met.
Dennis proved the scourge of Zinedine Zidane’s team, scoring twice in a 2-2 draw with the opposition at the Spanish capital in October, and yet again he is sure to come under the limelight here.
Both strikers have showed flashes of their brilliance in diverse measures for the club this season, and have a combined total of 15 goals for the season, but will be required to produce better.
But it is worrying that they are currently embroiled in some sort of goal drought with Okereke yet to find the net in his last seven matches across all competitions since scoring in a league game versus Kortrijk, while Dennis has fired blanks in eight games, last scoring against Gent on October 6, so this game offers an illustrious opportunity for these two to grab a chance and end their dip.
A goal or two will give them a real boost and will be important for any of them to end the year on a high.