Wednesday Nov 13, 2019. 10:00
Nigeria will be eager to make the perfect start to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying campaign when they host Benin at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Wednesday evening. Kick-off is at 18h00 (GMT +2).
The Super Eagles head into the match on the back of successive draws to Ukraine and Brazil respectively over the two most recent international breaks, with their last competitive outing a 1-0 win over Tunisia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Victory over the Eagles of Carthage secured a third place finish in Egypt and the three-time champions now set their sights on a 19th appearance at Africa’s premier competition.
Nigeria will be overwhelming favourites to top a group that also includes, Benin, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.
Head coach Gernot Rohr has received a timely boost in preparation for the clash with Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, Ola Aina, Samuel Kalu and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi all making a return to the squad.
The 66-year-old, though, has expressed his concerns regarding the short period between the country’s tow games this month with most of his European-based players having only arrived in Nigeria on Monday.
Nevertheless, with the talents of Victor Osimhen amongst other to call on, Nigeria will be expected to soar to the top of Group L.
To their credit, Benin reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 Afcon and with Stephan Sessegnon and Co leading their charge, The Squirrels could cause an upset if the hosts fail to rise to the occasion.
Nigeria are ranked third on the African continent in the latest FIFA rankings (35th in the world). Benin are placed 18th in Africa (82nd in the world).
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