Monday Oct 02, 2017. 15:00
AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.
Group B fixtures
Saturday 7 October
Nigeria v Zambia - Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo - 18h00 CAT
Cameroon v Algeria - Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde - 18h00 CAT
Nigeria - Victor Moses
Victor Moses seems to have lost his first-team place at Chelsea, having been dropped to the bench for their loss at home to Manchester City this past weekend. However, he is a definite starter for Nigeria, especially after the superb performances he gave in the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon last month. Used as a wide attacker for the national team, expect Moses to be a thorn in the side of Zambia’s defence.
Zambia - Patson Daka
In the absence of the injured Brian Mwila (who scored two goals for Zambia in their home win over Algeria last month), much of the attacking burden will fall on 18-year-old Patson Daka. The Austrian-based forward proved his class with the only goal against the Fennec Foxes in the teams’ second clash in Constantine, earning Chipolopolo a famous win. Quite whether the teenager can repeat the feat in Uyo this weekend remains to be seen, but coach Wedson Nyirenda may gamble that he can.
Cameroon - Vincent Aboubakar
Vincent Aboubakar has been in fine form for Porto, notably scoring two goals for the Portuguese giants in a 3-0 away win over Monaco in the UEFA Champions League last week. The 25-year-old has also netted twice thus far in Group B and will look to add to his tally - even if Cameroon are no longer in the running to reach Russia 2018.
Algeria - Zinedine Ferhat
With Algeria out of the running to qualify, under-fire coach Lucas Alcaraz has named a much-changed squad, opting to bring in fresh blood and recall players who deserve a second crack at international football. One such example who falls into the latter category is Zinedine Ferhat, whose superb form for Le Havre merits a recall to the Fennec Foxes. The 24-year-old midfielder will hope he can establish himself in the national team with a strong showing against Cameroon.