The national Under-23 team coach Samson Siasia is considering fielding a weakened team for Wednesday’s Rio 2016 Olympics men’s football Group B final game against Colombia at the Arena dos Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
Nigeria sealed their qualification for the quarterfinals after beating Asian champions Japan 5-4 on Thursday and edging Sweden 1-0 in Manaus on Sunday.
Colombia, who drew 2-2 with Sweden and also with Japan, are under pressure to win the encounter to reach the last eight.
Hosts Brazil, without a goal or a win after two matches, look the likely candidate but they must overcome Group A leaders Denmark when both teams clash inside Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova on Wednesday.
Roma forward Sadiq Umar scored once and midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo four times as Nigeria picked up all three points from Japan, and Umar was the match winner in the defeat of Sweden.
Captain Mikel Obi has also distinguished himself in the competition and he could be rested alongside Etebo and Umar.
“I had to take this decision because we have qualified for the quarterfinals as group leaders, and secondly I need to rest some of the starters because in the next phase there is a possibility of going into extra time,” the Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner said in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
“For now the boys have done well and I need to make the other players justify why I selected them for this tournament. This is not a tea party so everyone must stand up to be counted, and the only way they can be counted is if they play well against Colombia. Resting some starters does not mean we are under rating the opposition.”