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Soccer News of Friday, 12 November 2021

Source: soccernet.ng

Liberia vs Nigeria Preview: Rohr's men seek World Cup playoff round spot in Tangiers

The Super Eagles of Nigeria The Super Eagles of Nigeria

The final round of matches in the group stages of the African section of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers takes place this weekend and next week

Nigeria’s Super Eagles play against Liberia and Cape Verde in their final games in Group C of the African qualifying section of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Super Eagles will first take on Liberia on Saturday, November 13, before hosting Cape Verde three days later in Lagos.

Super Eagles seeking playoff round spot in Tangiers

Nigeria currently lead Group C with nine points, two ahead of nearest challengers Cape Verde. The Super Eagles need just a win from their final two matches to seal their place in the playoff round.

Gernot Rohr’s men can achieve this if they beat Liberia at the Stade Ibn Batouta, Tangiers. The three-time African champions will feel confident, having beaten the same opponents 2-0 in the reverse fixture last September.

Liberia hoping to restore their pride

The Lone Stars are all but out of the qualification race. Liberia currently sit bottom of the group with just a win from four games.

However, they will be eager to restore pride as they seek revenge against their more illustrious opponent. But they will not be able to count on the support of their fans as the match will be played in Morocco due to their failure to meet the stadium requirement set by FIFA.

Gernot Rohr’s men are heavily favoured but will be wary of avoiding an upset again

The Super Eagles are the massive favourites going into the game, but they will be wary of that tag after losing at home to the Central African Republic last month.

Rohr’s men suffered a shocking 1-0 home loss to CAR at the Teslim Balogun Stadium last month and will be eager to avoid a similar embarrassment on Saturday.

The head-to-head favours Nigeria, having won ten times and lost just three times to their opponents. However, one of the losses came in a World Cup qualifier in 2000.

Nigeria’s record in their travels for a FIFA World Cup qualifier is also excellent. The three-time African champions last loss on the road in a World Cup qualifier was a 1-0 loss to Angola in 2004.

Although they lost to Algeria 3-0 in 2017, the match ended 1-1 on the pitch, but the Desert Foxes were awarded a 3-0 win by FIFA after Nigeria fielded an ineligible player.

Nigeria team news

The biggest story is the return of Odion Ighalo. Ighalo had retired from international football after the 201 Africa Cup of Nations, but he is back in the squad after almost three years out.

Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi are also back after missing the games against CAR last month. At the same time, Samuel Chukwueze returns after missing the September and October games due to an injury.

Likely XI 

Maduka Okoye, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Jamilu Collins, Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen

Where to watch 

The match will be shown on NFF TV, while Nigerian viewers can also watch on AIT and NTA. Soccernet will also provide live updates of the encounter on their website.

Predictions

Nigeria are the favourites on paper, but CAR showed last month an upset is possible. Liberia will take confidence from that and will try to frustrate Gernot Rohr’s men.

However, given the perfect condition of the pitch in Tangiers, and the individual qualities the three-time African champions possess, anything other than a victory for the Super Eagles will be embarrassing for Rohr’s team.

Nigeria to win and under 3.5