Kelechi Iheanacho of Nigeria (c) and Ramahlwe Mphahlele (r) and Erick Mathoho of South Africa (l) during the 2019 Afcon football qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on June 10, 2017 in Uyo State, Nigeria. @Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix
Tuesday Aug 29, 2017. 19:00
AfricanFootball looks at three key battles which will decide the outcome of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigerian and Cameroon in Uyo on Friday night.
Elderson Echiejile v Christian Bassogog
Elderson Echiejile is the veteran in an otherwise relatively inexperienced Nigerian defence and it will be the 29-year-old’s job to bring composure and discipline to the Super Eagles’ rearguard. One of the main threats he will have to deal with is Cameroon’s Christian Bassogog, the Player of the Tournament at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The 21-year-old’s speed, mobility and goal threat will be key to the Indomitable Lions’ hopes of upsetting Nigeria in their own back yard.
John Obi Mikel v Sebastian Siani
Nigeria midfielder and captain John Obi Mikel has only recently returned from serious injury, but such is his value to the Super Eagles that coach Gernot Rohr had no hesitation in naming him in his squad for these matches. The former Chelsea man will go toe-to-toe with Sebastian Siani, a mobile central midfielder who was a relative latecomer to the international game but went on to play the anchor role in Cameroon’s triumph at the AFCON earlier this year.
Kelechi Iheanacho v Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui
With Alex Iwobi set to miss the first match in Uyo due to injury, the burden of leading Nigeria’s attack will fall on the shoulders of Kelechi Iheanacho. The 20-year-old has yet to get into his stride at new club Leicester City and will hope that this international break brings him goals and confidence. The man trying to keep him at bay will be Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, one of the stars of the Indomitable Lions’ run to glory at the AFCON. The 26-year-old defender will also be a goal threat from set pieces and notably netted twice in the finals in Gabon.
The first match between Nigeria and Cameroon is set for the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday evening, kick-off at 18h00 CAT. Join us on AfricanFootball for LIVE coverage of the clash.