Nigeria are set to be without reigning African women player of the year, Asisat Oshoala, for a second time, when they take on Equatorial Guinea women away in Bata in a crucial Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifier because of injury.
The Liverpool Ladies forward sustained a knee injury last Saturday during her club’s 1-2 home defeat by Notts County in the Women’s Super League and missed Thursday’s 2-0 win over Everton in the Continental Tyres Cup.
The Nigeria women international is one of too many injury concerns at the defending Women’s Super League One champions who are sixth in the standings with an outstanding match.
England midfielder Fara Williams, fresh from claiming bronze at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, picked up a hamstring injury and defender Satara Murray is likely to be out for about six weeks with the same hamstring injury, all from last week’s defeat to Notts County.
Oshoala and Williams would be sidelined for “a couple of months”, according to LFC Ladies manager Matt Beard (speaking exclusively to BBC Sport).
Beard admitted it will be difficult for Liverpool Ladies to defend the league title it won last season in the absence of the injured trio and with the current campaign drawing to a close in October.
“It’s a big blow,” Beard told BBC Sport. “It’s the spine of your team – your central midfielder, your centre-back and your centre-forward – but it’s one of those things.”
Oshoala missed the Super Falcons’ 1-1 home draw with Equatorial Guinea last Sunday. The Rio 2016 qualifying reverse is slated for Bata on 2 August and the striker is very unlikely to recover before time.