By Dare Esan:
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi is eager to score his second EPL goal of the season 40 days after he fired in his first in the Gunners 3-2 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigerian scored on 41 minutes to make the game 2-2 before Marcos Alonso’s 81st minute strike gave the Blues all three points in the pulsating encounter last August.
Since then, Iwobi has only provided one assist but the nephew of former Nigeria captain,Austin Jayjay Okocha will fancy his chances of nicking his second when Arsenal travel to Selhurts Park on Sunday to face Crystal Palace.
Iwobi has played twice against the Eagles (Palace) and both came at the Emirates Stadium.
The first came on New Year’s day in 2017 and the Nigerian scored Arsenal’s second goal in a 2-0 win.The second goal came slighlty over a year later,precisely on January 20,2018 and it was in the Gunners’ 4-1 annihilation of the visitors with Iwobi scoring the second goal on 10 minutes,four minutes after Nancho Monral had given Arsenal the lead.
If Iwobi scores on Sunday, it will be his second in the Premier League ths season but his third against Palace.Watford remains the only side the Nigerian has scored against since he made his debut in 2015.
While Iwobi will be looking to make it three goals against Palace, Kelechi Iheanacho will be searching for his first EPL start and first goal in four games against West Ham who will come visiting the King Power stadium today.
Iheanacho lost two of the three games he featured in against the Hammers,losing the first 2-1 while still a Manchester City player in September 2015.
Still a Citizen,the Nigerian forward came in as a late substitute as Manchester City played a 2-2 draw in an EpL game in January 2016.
The Nigerian lost for the second time in three games when the Hammmers came to the King Power stadium to win 2-0.Iheanacho was a 61st minute substitute in the game.
For Ndidi who will be making his 60th start in 60 EpL games he has played for Leicester City since he moved from Genk in January 2017, today’s game will be his third against the Hammers.He won the first away from home (3-2) in March 2017 before drawing at home 1-1 eight months later.
Meanwhile Isaac Success is seeking to make two consecutive starts for Watford who host Huddersfield Town at Vicarage Road today.
Success who made his first league start of the season for the Hornets last weekend in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping he gets coach Javi Gracia’s nod to start again especially with captain Troy Deeney still unavailable for selection.
The Nigerian who made a return to the Super Eagles nest in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double header against Libya early this month will also be looking to score his first Premier League goal of the season. If he scores,it will also be his second in 29 premier league games since he made his debut in the 3-1 loss to Arsenal in August 2016.
Success’ only Premier League goal so far was scored over two years ago in the 2-2 draw with visiting Bournemouth.
At the Amex Stadium, Leon Balogun will be pushing to get back to reckoning when Brighton host Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Balogun has played only twice for Brighton since his free transfer from German Bundesliga side, Mainz 05 in the summer. He came in as a 20th minute substiute in the 3-2 defeat of Manchester United at the Amex stadium on August 19 before starting six days later in the narrow 1-0 loss at Anfield against Liverpool. Since then, the Nigerian has been confined to the substitutes’ bench, a role he certainly does not cherish.