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World Cup

Nov 16, 2021 at 4pm UK
1 - 1
Cape Verde
Osimhen (1')
Ndidi (16'), Balogun (85')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Stopira (5')

Preview: Nigeria vs. Cape Verde - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Nigeria play host to Cape Verde on Tuesday knowing that a draw will be enough to secure their progress through to the next round of World Cup qualifying.

However, it will be the visitors who prevail from Group C if they can upset their more illustrious opponents in Lagos.

Match preview

Given the quality within their ranks, Gernot Rohr would have expected Nigeria to have already qualified for the final 10 with one match to spare.

However, the late 1-0 defeat at home to Central African Republic on matchday three meant that there was no leeway for complacency after opening the group with two victories.

Nigeria have since recorded another six points to remain ahead of their next opponents, but the stakes are still higher than what they probably should have been ahead of the closing 90 minutes.

On the face of it, defeating Liberia by a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday looks a comfortable win, yet Nigeria were reliant on penalties from Victor Osimhen and Ahmed Musa.

The former now has three goals for the campaign, stepping up to the mark at a time when Kelechi Iheanacho has not netted since the start of the campaign.

While the Super Eagles are the clear favourites to progress on Tuesday, it would be naive to write off the chances of Cape Verde.

Since their 2-1 reverse against Nigeria in September, they have posted three successive victories, each by a one-goal margin to highlight their strength of character.

Bubista's team came from behind to prevail from two of those fixtures, performances which have kept their dream of a first-ever World Cup Finals alive.

Goals have been shared around the Cape Verde squad with only Julio Tavares netting twice in Group C.

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

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

Cape Verde World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Cape Verde form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Rohr is unlikely to make any major alterations to his Nigeria XI after their victory over Liberia.

Chidera Ejuke replaced Alex Iwobi shortly after the hour mark of that game and appears most likely to be drafted into the side off the substitutes' bench.

Musa is also pushing to get the nod over Iheanacho having contributed during his cameo outing last time out.

Bubista will take a similar approach to his opposite number, potentially making just the one change to his Cape Verde side.

Willy Semedo could get the nod over Dylan Tavares after replacing him at half time versus Central African Republic.

Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Collins, Awaziem; Ndidi, Aribo; Iwobi, Simon, Iheanacho; Osimhen

Cape Verde possible starting lineup:
Rosa; Stopira, Lopes, Furtado; Fortes, Semedo, Borges, Monteiro; Santos, Mendes; J. Tavares

We say: Nigeria 3-1 Cape Verde

Having kept themselves in contention against the odds, Cape Verde will be prepared to give everything on Tuesday. However, it may not be enough against a strong Nigeria team, who we expect to prevail relatively comfortably over the 90 minutes.

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:curl

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