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World Cup Qualifying - Africa | Second Round
Nov 13, 2021 at 4pm UK
National Complex
NN

Liberia
0 - 2
Nigeria


Wynney (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Osimhen (15' pen.), Musa (90+4' pen.)

Preview: Liberia vs. Nigeria - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Liberia vs. Nigeria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's World Cup Qualifying - Africa clash between Liberia and Nigeria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Looking to extend their lead at the top of Group C and boost their chances of progressing into the final qualifying round, Nigeria take a trip to the Grand Stade de Tanger to face Liberia on Saturday.

The hosts, who find themselves rooted to the bottom of the group, will be looking to upset the visitors and pick up just their second win of the qualifiers.


Match preview

After missing out on a place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations by just two points, Liberia were denied a dream start to their World Cup qualifiers as they fell to a 2-0 loss against Nigeria in September's reverse fixture.

Peter Butler's men quickly moved on from that result as they edged out Central African Republic 1-0 three days later courtesy of Kpah Sherman's 86th-minute strike.

However, Liberia failed to build on that performance as they crumbled to successive defeats against Cape Verde in their most recent two outings.

This slump in form sees the Lone Stars sit rock-bottom in Group C, and while their chances of making it into the final qualifying round are effectively over, they will fancy their chances of causing an upset on home turf, where they have won four of their last five games and are unbeaten in all but one of their last eight.

Meanwhile, after booking their place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria got their quest for a seventh World Cup appearance underway on a winning note as they saw off Liberia before making it two wins from two four days later against Cape Verde.

In that encounter, Victor Osimhen cancelled out Dylan Tavares's 19th-minute opener before Kenny Rocha Santos scored an own goal to hand the Super Eagles all three points.

However, this fine run took a slight halt in their subsequent outing, when they were stunned to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Central African Republic on October 7, courtesy of Karl Namnganda's 91st-minute winner.

Gernot Rohr's men got their qualifier campaign back on track last time out as they cruised to a 2-0 win over Les Fauves in the second of their two successive meetings thanks to first-half strikes from Leon Balogun and Osimhen.

With nine points from four games, Nigeria currently sit top of the pile in Group C, two points ahead of second-placed Cape Verde, and this has been owing to the solid job done at both ends of the pitch as they have scored six goals in that time while letting in two.

Next up is an opposing side who they are unbeaten against in 12 of the last 15 meetings between the sides, picking up 10 wins and two draws in that time.

Liberia World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Liberia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Nigeria World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Nigeria form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W


Team News

Liberia have named a strong squad for their two qualification ties, inclining the likes of Slavia Prague midfielder Oscar Dorley and Aarau midfielder Allen Njie.

The Lone Stars have struggled to get going at the defensive end of the pitch and we expect Butler to make a few changes and take a defensive approach to the game to repel the rampant Super Eagles attackers.

Meanwhile, Rohr has called up 26 players to the national team camp for their final two qualifying games, including Napoli forward Osimhen, who has netted five goals in 10 Serie A appearances this term.

After featuring against Central African Republic last time out, Ahmed Musa equalled Joseph Yobo and Vincent Engrama on the nation's all-time appearance chart and the Fatih Karagumruk man will be looking to pick up a record 102nd appearance this weekend.

Former Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo has stepped out of retirement and is set to make his first appearance for the Super Eagles in over two years.

The 32-year-old bowed out of international football back in 2019, shortly after guiding the nation to third place at the Africa Cup of Nations, where he netted five goals en route to picking up the Golden Boot award.

Oghenekaro Etebo remains out of contention after sustaining a muscle injury at club level, while Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze has been recalled to the camp having recently returned from a severe injury.

Liberia possible starting lineup:
Sanogo; Dweh, Maccornell, Balde; Macauley, Njie, Hellberg, Dorley; Kamara, Sherman, Kosiah

Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Sanusi, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Aina; Onyeka, Ndidi, Iwobi; Musa, Iheanacho, Osimhen


We say: Liberia 0-2 Nigeria

Nigeria will be seeking to end their winless run against the hosts and extend their lead over second-place Cape Verde to five points. The Super Eagles head into the game with a star-studded squad and considering the gulf in class and quality between the two sides, we are tipping them to come out victorious in this one.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data




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