Gift Orban received his first Super Eagles invitation for the game against Sao Tome & Principe following his exciting performances for Belgian Jupiler Pro League side KAA Gent.
The Nigerian striker was the beautiful bride for many top clubs this past summer but remained at Gent.
Gift Orban has continued from where he left off last season and is expected to continue banging in the goals for his club.
Despite not getting his debut for the Super Eagles, Gift Orban will get his time and be the star he is meant to be.
Gift Orban in good form
Gift Orban is in decent goal-scoring form this season. He scored four goals in five UECL matches to help the Buffaloes qualify for the group stage.
He also contributed two league goals and is 11th on the goalscorers chart.
Hugo Cuypers is the only Gent player who has outscored Gift Orban in the league. The Belgian has scored three goals and is sixth on the scorers chart.
Gift Orban has played 344 minutes (about 69 minutes per game) in the league this season and 356 (71 minutes per game) in the UECL.
Gent riding high in Belgian league with Gift Orban
It's been a solid season for KAA Gent so far. The Belgian side has not lost any game.
They have won four of their first six Belgian Jupiler Pro League games with two draws.
They sit atop the league table with 14 points. The Buffaloes are ahead of Anderlecht on goal difference but have played one more game than their rivals.
Gent has scored 12 goals in the league this term and conceded five.
It is an uphill task betting against the away side not scoring, as they have scored in every game they played, with the lowest being a 1-0 win over KV Mechelen and a 1-1 draw with UH Leuven.
Despite scoring in every game they played this season, they've also conceded in all except three – the 1-0 win over KV Mechelen, the 5-0 home win against Pogoń Szczecin and the 2-0 win against Apoel Nicosia.
How Zorya qualified for UECL
Zorya missed out on European football last year but is back in Europe courtesy of finishing third place in the Ukrainian Premier League.
It is their second appearance in the Conference League, following their qualification for the group stages of the maiden edition in 2021.
Their third-place finish was good enough for a place in the Europa League qualification.
Despite winning the second leg at home to Slavia Prague 2-1, it was not enough to overturn their 2-0 first-leg defeat.
The loss to Slavia Prague meant they dropped to the group stage of the UECL.
Should Gent be worried about Zorya?
Gift Orban will be in the thick of things as his Belgian side are guests of Ukrainian club Zorya Luhansk.
Due to the war in Ukraine, the tie (a first-leg UECL group B clash) will be at the Arena Lublin Stadium in Poland.
Their form ahead of this game should not worry Gift Orban and co, but a Lion is more dangerous when it's wounded, and it should be cause for concern for KAA Gent.
The Ukrainian side is not in the best form ahead of this game.
Following their ouster from the Europa League, Zorya has won just once in the league from their opening five games.
They have also lost thrice and are nestling in the bottom four places of the league table.
Zorya's form is encouraging news for Gent, and Gift Orban can capitalize on it to increase his goal tally this term.
The Belgian side, who are yet to lose any league game this season, qualified for the group stage of the UECL after a 4-1 aggregate win over Apoel Nicosia.
Their only loss in the UECL qualifiers was a 2-1 defeat by Polish side Pogon Szczecin.
What to expect from the match
Gift Orban should start this game. It is a chance to increase his tally.
However, despite their poor form this season, Zorya is a different proposition at home.
Gent have a fight on their hands as Zorya will not roll over for them. The away side has better experience in this type of game and will count on it to see them through.
One thing the fans can count on to see is goals, as both sides have shown they are not entirely experts at defending.
Prediction: A 2-2 draw or a 2-1 away win for Gent.
- It is the first clash between Zorya Luhansk and Genk.
- Gent has played Ukrainian sides eight times, winning just once and losing on six occasions.
- After going seven away games in Europe without a win, Gent has won three of their last five.
- Zorya Luhansk are unbeaten in their last four European games at home, winning three.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago