Nigeria travel to the FNB stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday to face South Africa in a crunch AfCON qualifier tie that will surely book their place in next year’s AFCON.
Both teams will be looking to wrap things up quickly, as South Africa already has 8 points while Nigeria has 9 points and a win for either side will more than guarantee their progression to the finals.
The match against Seychelles ended in a disappointing draw even though Bafana Bafana had so many chances. They Seychelles team are beginning to find their feet after earlier games saw them concede up to 13 goals.
Bafana Bafana are still unbeaten and will be looking to continue that run against Nigeria. But injuries will likely threaten that run as some players will be unavailable for the match. Key midfielders Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Bongani Zungu will be all missing for the tie. But the power and pace of Lebogang Maboe and Lebo Mothiba will be a source of worry for the Nigerians.
The Super Eagles suffered a 2-0 home defeat to the South Africans in their opening match in the campaign, but have since bounced back with three back to back wins. Odion Ighalo has been the goal hero for the last three matches. Nigeria are top of the group with nine points and will book their place in next year’s tournament in Cameroon with a win on Saturday.
The Super Eagles defeated Libya 3-2 in their previous fixture in the qualifiers. Odion Ighalo struck a brace while Ahmed Musa added a third as the West African team did the double over their rivals having secured a 4-0 victory in the reverse fixture.
Gernot Rohr’s men will be without Odion Ighalo who is injured and Wilfried Ndidi who is suspended. Ighalo will surely be missed due to his goal scoring form so far. They will likely be replaced by Musa, Ihenacho or Henry Onyekuru. Alex Iwobi is also tipped to shine in South Africa
Head to Head
Out of the 10 previous matches involving South Africa and Nigeria, the West Africans lead the head-to-head by six wins to one.