Osimhen Speaks on UCL Debut for Lille Tonight

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Victor Osimhen has admitted Ajax will be a difficult opponent for Lille but he is optimistic the French team can grab maximum points on the road.

The Ligue 1 outfit will commence their 2019-20 UEFA Champions League campaign against the Dutch champions on Tuesday and the Nigeria international is aiming to make his debut in the competition as well.

Osimhen has enjoyed a fine start to life in the French top-flight since his permanent switch from Sporting Charleroi in July and has scored five goals in his first five outings for Christophe Galtier’s side.

Ahead of tonight’s trip to the Johan Cruyff Arena, the 20-year-old forward said Lille have the qualities to overcome Erik ten Hag’s side, who reached the semi-final of the competition last season.

“We feel good. We have some strong individuals, but above all, we have a team,” Osimhen told Ligue 1 website.

“We’re going to play a big club, they’ll be difficult to play, but we have what it takes to win it. We’re going there to win.”

Osimhen was brought to Lille as a direct replacement for Ivory Coast’s Nicolas Pepe, who joined the Arsenal for €80 million, and he has justified the move with his goalscoring exploits this term.

The Super Eagles described his present form as a reward for his hard work in the past years and he singled out two players who have helped him settled in well at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Elsewhere, Barcelona have been handed a major boost ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund with Lionel Messi declared fit to play.

The Argentine star has not featured for the Catalan giants so far this season due to a niggling calf issue but after missing the 5-2 win over Valencia at the weekend, he has proved his fitness to be included in the club’s 22-man squad.

Messi returned to full training alongside his team-mates on Monday morning and will hope to get his first minutes of the campaign away at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has been keen to avoid rushing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner back too soon but it appears he is closing in on full fitness.

He last featured for Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in May against Valencia but having watched from the stands as the likes of 16-year-old wonderkid Ansu Fati have taken the headlines, Messi will be keen to announce himself in style if he does return to action in Germany.

Barcelona’s 22-man squad left for Germany yesterday afternoon.

TUESDAY FIXTURES

Inter v Slavia Prague (5:55pm)

Lyon v Zenit (5:55pm)

Chelsea v Valencia (8:00pm)

Napoli v Liverpool (8:00pm)

Salzburg v Genk (8:00pm)

Dortmund v Barcelona (8:00pm)

Benfica v Leipzig (8:00pm)

Ajax v Lille (8:00pm)