Neighbours Ghana and Nigeria face off for the first time in 11 years as only one of the two will appear in Qatar’s World Cup. It was a disappointing campaign for Ghana in AFCON as they hope to put all behind them with a place on the global stage. Nigeria fared better in the continental tournament, but they were crushed to go out by Tunisia in the first knockout game.
Ghana has a lot to prove
Alongside defending champions Algeria, Ghana bowed out from the African Cup of Nations in the group stage. It’s a totally unacceptable return when there is a place for four best third-place teams of the groups.
To begin with, Ghana’s World Cup qualifying campaign was also far from perfect. They only scored once against Ethiopia in two games, and their vital win on the final day didn’t avoid controversy.
The penalty decision that helped Ghana outmaneuver South Africa for a playoff place in this month’s final qualifiers hasn’t been convincing. The team didn’t make Ghanaians believe their World Cup streak will continue. That’s why they brought Borussia Dortmund’s talent coach Otto Addo to the side as he took over the managerial role.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 19:30 on Friday 25th March 2022
Nigeria spoiled for attacking options
While Mail currently has hosts of options for their midfield, Augustine Eguavoen has full of quality strikers at his disposal. But it doesn’t mean they’re full of goals as seen in the African Cup of Nations.
Some still need time to adapt to the side, others could see their best days over them. All in all, Eguavoen is yet to find the best formula that could work for the side on the playing field.
He now selected nine strikers in the final squad for the two decisive games. Nigeria scored six goals in the group stages of AFCON, but they were inefficient against Tunisia in the first knockout fixture.
Comparative record in head-to-head fixtures
Ghana has been better in recent outings as they are undefeated in their last four against Nigeria. But Nigeria also had that untouchable streak in this fixture in the mid-2000s. Their last fixture dated back to a 2011 friendly match. The last time they met in a World Cup qualifier, Nigeria beat Ghana by 3-0.
Ghana & Nigeria Team News
AS Roma’s youngster Felix Afena Gyan and Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus, who struggled with injuries all season, made the final squad for Ghana.
Union Berlin’s striker Taiwo Awoniyi didn’t make the final cut for the decisive fixture despite scoring 11 goals in Bundesliga and experiencing a good AFCON tournament. Nigeria continued their belief in old guards Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo.
Nigeria has a firing power, Ghana’s defense is their strength
The two sides have different focuses on their teams. Nigeria depends on the output of their front players as they have an abundance of quality and experience including Napoli’s hitman Victor Osimhen, who missed the AFCON. Meanwhile, Ghana has a solid defense and midfield architect Thomas Partey in their ranks.
Nigeria to progress19/10 (2.90) 888SportUnder 2.5 goals4/9 (1.44) 888SportHalf-time draw17/20 (1.85)888Sport