Coach Salisu Yusuf will rely on the international experience of as many as five players from last year’s CHAN in today’s starting XI against hosts Benin.
Goalkeeper and skipper Ikechukwu Ezenwa will lead Osas Okoro, Chima Akas, Stephen Eze and Orji Kalu, who all featured at last year’s CHAN in Rwanda.
Ezenwa has been considered ahead of the impressive Dele Ajiboye.
Kano Pillars star Rabiu Ali, who played at the 2014 CHAN, will also start for the home-based Eagles as coach Yusuf sticks with his 4-2-3-1 formation also favoured by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr.
Surprise omissions are Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Muazzam’ of Akwa United and NPFL hotshot Stephen Odey from MFM FC.
Lobi Stars striker Kingsley Eduwo will lead the Eagles attack that also has Thomas Zenke and Sikiru Olatunbosun.
CHAN Eagles starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Skipper) – Osas Okoro, Chima Akas, Stephen Eze, Orji Kalu – Afeez Aremu, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi – Thomas Zenke, Sikiru Olatunbosun, Rabiu Ali – Kingsley Eduwo