The Super Eagles of Nigeria will square up against the Fennec Foxes of Algeria in their final Group B match of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, having already sealed qualification for next year’s soccer fiesta by defeating the Zambians in their last encounter.
The game has been tagged as a dead rubber by many, with the Super Eagles having accumulated 13 points from its first five matches, while the Zambians who occupy the second spot- a distant 6 points behind, have one round of matches left to play.
Coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has kept faith with majority of the players that have been mainstays in the team all through the campaign, with the exception of Francis Uzoho, Chidiebere Nwakali and Brian Idowu (on standby) who are joining up with the team for the first time.
Rohr, has however been faced by injury worries to some of his key players heading into the game, with the likes Ogenyi Onazi, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo suffering various degrees of injuries respectively.
Nonetheless, he has handed a late minute call up to the duo of Olanrewaju Kayode (Girona FC) and Kenneth Omeruo (who was on the stand by list) to replace them.
The Algerians on their part, will be hoping to use this game to start a rebuilding process for their team after their dismal performance all through the qualifying series, which has seen them gather just a single point from their five Group B fixtures to date.
They have appointed former ex-international Rabah Madjer as their new manager and he has named a strong squad to face Nigeria, handing call ups to the Leicester City pair of Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez, while also extending an invite to FC Porto’s attacking midfielder Yacine Brahimi, and Schalke 04 midfielder Nabil Bentaleb.
The last time these two teams met was in November 2016, with the Super Eagles winning by 3 goals to 1.
Players to Watch:
- Alex Iwobi (Nigeria): His two goals against the Zambians in Ndola and in Uyo have been very crucial in the Super Eagles World Cup qualifying campaign. He’s got great vision when in possession of the ball while his interchange of passes with his teammates in the final third of the opposing half can cause havoc in the blink of an eye.
- Riyad Mahrez (Algeria): He and his teammates have really under-performed throughout this World Cup qualifying series, but on his good day, he can be unplayable.
Head to Head clash:
- Nigeria won 9
- Algeria won 6
- Drawn games 3
- Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)
- Rabah Madjer (Algeria)
Date, Time and Venue of the match:
- November 10, 2017
- 8:30pm (Nigerian time)
- Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine