Bafana Bafana will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in Group E when they host Nigeria at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
With a place in Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on the line, Nigeria’s Super Eagles go into Saturday game with a relaxed mind knowing that a draw against South Africa will be enough to guarantee them a place in the continental showpiece.
South Africa clinched the top spot in Group E with a surprising 2-0 victory over the three-time African champions at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Nigeria, June 2017. However, they lost their place at the top of the group to the Super Eagles after they were forced to a 0-0 draw in the return leg of their game with minnows Seychelles
Both sides are likely to adopt a cautious approach as a draw (3.00) could see both teams qualify if Seychelles manage to repeat their recent heroics against Bafana when they host Libya in Victoria. Price of (3.00) odds on South Africa and Nigeria canceling each other out on this occasion is a decent value on SportyBet.
The Super Eagles missed out of the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, but with nine points amassed from their previous four games, a win against Bafana will seal their place in Cameroon next year.
Whoever wins this clash will seal qualification with one game left, irrespective of what happens in the other match between Libya and Seychelles. South Africa are favorites to come out on top by SportyBet and are available at odds of (2.00) to get another win against Nigeria, but this time at their home ground.
While the Super Eagles appear to have bounced back stronger after losing to the hosts 17 months ago, winning three matches on a row to go top of the group on nine points, the Super Eagles are priced at odds of (4.60) to defeat South Africa and qualify for the 2019 AFCON, regardless of the result in their last AFCON qualifier against Seychelles.
Skipper John Obi Mikel, who was not invited, and midfield enforcer Wilfred Ndidi will be missing from this game after receiving two yellow cards against Libya in October, thus getting suspended for this encounter. The Eagles are short in midfield – with Onazi also not invited.
Injury to China-based striker Odion Ighalo who has scored 6 goals in 3 matches for Nigeria in recent times, will also reduce the team’s attacking threat, but the likes of Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi are also capable of getting the goals for Nigeria. First-choice keeper Francis Uzoho is also injured, leaving Rohr with several gaps to fill.
Bafana will be without several key players, especially in the midfield – with Dean Furman, Keagan Dolly, Kamohlo Mokotjo, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Bongani Zungu all out.
Nigeria top the standings with nine points and South Africa sit in second place with a point less. If either of these teams crumbles in the next two matches, third-placed Libya who has four points can still qualify.
Recent Head to Head
10/06/2017: Africa Cup of Nations Qualification (AFCON): Nigeria 0-2 South Africa
29/03/2015: International Friendly Match: South Africa 1-1 Nigeria
19/11/2014: Africa Cup of Nations Qualification (AFCON): Nigeria 2-2 South Africa
10/09/2014: Africa Cup of Nations Qualification (AFCON): South Africa 0-0 Nigeria
Who do you back to win?