Nigeria head into Monday’s game unbeaten in each of their last seven Africa Cup of Nations qualification games, including each of their six outings in the 2022 qualifiers where they picked up four wins and two draws to finish top of Group L. While the three-time African champions will look to keep this fine run alive and kicking, they have struggled for results on the road in recent outings, picking up one draw and losing two of their last three away games since a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau back in January. Twenty-five-year-old Viegas opened his account for the national team with his strike against Guinea-Bissau and we expect the Resende forward to spearhead the attack once again.
The Super Eagles barely got out of first gear on matchday one but had enough quality to come from behind and inflict a 2-1 defeat on Sierra Leone inside the MKO Stadium In Abuja. Everton’s Alex Iwobi cancelled Jonathan Morsay’s 11th-minute header with a deft finish before Napoli’s Victor Osimhen smashed home the winner moments before halftime for the Eagles’ tenth-ever win over the Leone Stars. Sao Tome & Principe had it worse on the same day, stumbling to a 5-1 defeat in Guinea-Bissau despite taking an early lead through Edmílson Viegas.
He should be joined in the final third by 30-year-old Valter Rocha and Bolivia-based forward Leal, while Clube Oriental de Lisboa man Joel Neves could push for a starting role in midfield. Despite their poor defensive performance against the Djurtus, Eusebio should stick to his centre-back pairing of Vava Pequeno and former Praia Cruz man Ivonaldo Viegas, with Anastacia Braganca starting in goal. Meanwhile, Iwobi scored his first goal for Nigeria since November 2020 with his leveller against Sierra Leone last time out and the former Everton man should retain his place at the centre of the park alongside Rangers man Joe Aribo.
Nigeria will trade tackles with the tiny island nation of Sao Tome and Principe on Monday, June 13, in a matchday two fixture of Group A’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign. With a population roughly the size of Apapa, one of the smallest local government areas in Lagos, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principle (183rd) face a behemoth in the former African champions (30th), 153 places above them on the FIFA ranking.
The Sao Tomeans face an even sterner test when they file out against three-time African champions, Super Eagles. It is no surprise as the Falcons seldom mix it up against the big sides. The Islanders have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or the Africa Cup of Nations. Still, the Sao Tomeans boast a poor record, with Mauritius the only team they have drawn against or beaten in the last six years, losing 17 of 21 matches within that period. Nigeria, though, ended a run of five matches without a win with Thursday’s 2-1 victory over Sierra Leone. With nine wins and three draws in their last 12 Afcon qualifiers, the Super Eagles are the massive favourites to pick up the maximum points in Morocco.
Africa Cup of Nations Qualification
Game week 2
Date: June 13, 2022
Time: 14:00 (2 pm, Nigerian time)
Venue: Stade d’Agadir, Agadir, Morocco