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EAGLES VS HAWKS: 5 Togo Stars To Watch Vs Nigeria

EAGLES VS HAWKS: 5 Togo Stars To Watch Vs Nigeria

Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI takes a look at the five Togo players who could star when the Hawks face Nigeria's Super Eagles in a friendly in Paris on Thursday…

FLOYD AYITE

Fulham striker Floyd Ayite will be playing his 25th international match for Togo against the Super Eagles on Thursday.

In the just ended season, Ayite played 38 matches in all competitions, scoring nine goals for his team that failed to gain promotion to the Premier League in the play-offs campaign. He was in action in 2,126 minutes for his club in the Championship.

The pacey attacker played in attacking midfield in Togo's three matches in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon against Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco and DR Congo. Togo were eliminated in the first round in the AFCON.

The player's ability to play across the front line and behind the top striker makes him a great asset for the Hawks and that will be key on how Togo fare on Thursday.

PENIEL MLAPA

New kid on the block Peniel Mlapa will be keen to establish himself as a valuable player for the Hawks when the team play Nigeria on Thursday.

The 19 year-old striker, who had previously rejected overtures from the Togo Football Federation to represent the country, will be making his debut in the friendly in Paris for Claude Le Roy's team after playing for Germany in the U-19 (10 appearances, one goal) and U-21 (21 appearances, eight goals) categories.

Mlapa scored eight goals in 32 league goals for 2 Bundesliga side VfL Bochum in the just ended 2016/2017 season. He scored once in the DFB Pokal.

Mlapa's shot per goal in the just ended season was 2.7%. The youngster is good on the aerial balls, hits long range shots and loves to do layoffs.

LALAWELE ATAKORA

Lawele Atakora is not strange to playing against Nigeria. The midfielder was Togo's star player at the 2011 West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria where the Hawks defeated the Super Eagles 3-2 in the final.

Atakora scored a brace and set up the third which was the first defeat of then Eagles head coach Samson Siasia.

The experienced midfielder played in Togo's three matches at the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Atakora who is currently a free agent has 17 caps for the Hawks and scored twice. He last played for Swedish side, Helsingborgs IF where he played 50 times and scored thrice.

The winger will be hard pressed to attract attention of clubs seeking quality addition to their clubs in the summer.

JOSEPH DOUHADJI

Rivers United defender Joseph Douhadji understands the Nigerian style of football as he plays for the Nigeria's CAF Confederations Cup representatives so he could be giving out useful hints about the Nigerian team and how they play to the new comers in the national team.

Douhadji has only one cap for Togo, an international friendly against Egypt on March 28, 2017 which the Hawks won 3-0. He was in action for only 34 minutes.

The defender was in Togo's side 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Tunisia on March 26 and 29, 2016 but was an unused substitute in both matches.

A good performance on Thursday will be a confidence booster for the 22 -year-old as Rivers United campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup and in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR

The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker is part of the Togo squad to play Nigeria on Thursday.

Adebayor who is originally from Nigeria where his parents hail from will be playing against the Super Eagles for his adopted country.

Adebayor's presence alone brings confidence and belief in the Togo camp and he will be instrumental in how his team turn up on match day.

Adebayor is the captain of the team and is the team's all time top scorer with 30 goals in 75 appearances.

The Medipol Basaksehir of Turkey striker scored six goals in 10 league games for his club in the just ended season.

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