Nigeria vs Ghana: Preview, H2H and predicted lineup
On Tuesday in Abuja, the two West African giants will trade tackles for a chance to win one of the continent’s five tickets to Qatar 2022.
The two previous Afcon champions on Friday, met at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi for the first leg, which ended in a dramatic goalless draw.
Ghana dominated much of the proceedings and looked to hurt their visitors with fast, tricky attackers backed by the immovable Thomas Partey.
Nigeria surged into the game and had a chance to win late on a penalty kick, but VAR overturned the referee’s first judgment.
In the return leg, everything is on the line, with any side that wins advancing to the Mundial.
Nigeria has now avoided defeat in all but one of their last 43 World Cup qualifying matches, following Friday’s draw. Last year, though, a Gernot Rohr-led Eagles team suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to the Central African Republic.
The Eagles’ terrible home record, with only two victories in their past five games since 2020, is highlighted by their loss to the Central African Republic.
The Black Stars have gone winless in their previous five matches, including defeats to Morocco and Comoros at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The Ghanaians have a dismal away record in World Cup qualifiers, winning only in Congo and Zimbabwe in their last eight outings.
With a win, the Black Stars might qualify for the World Cup for the first time after missing out on the 2018 edition.
The deadlock between Nigeria and Ghana in Kumasi was the 19th in 50 meetings between the two countries, with the Black Stars leading the head-to-head with 21 victories.
The Super Eagles have only won eleven games against Ghana, with their most recent success being in a World Cup qualifier at Port Harcourt in 2001, when they won 3-0.
Innocent Bonke and Samuel Chukwueze were injured in Kumasi, but they should be fine for this match.
On Friday, Kelechi Iheanacho did a decent job in the hole behind Victor Osimhen, but the Eagles would need more than that to beat Ghana on Tuesday. In place of the Leicester City striker, Eguavoen might use Odion Ighalo or Umar Sadiq to wreak havoc on Otto Addo’s side.
Even so, following a disappointing performance in the first leg, it would be surprising to see the two in the starting eleven. Augustine Eguavoen’s midfield options include Oghenekaro Etebo and Frank Onyeka, while Emmanuel Dennis and Ademola Lookman are great alternatives to Chukwueze.
Nigeria’s Possible Starting Lineup:
Uzoho; Aina, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Sanusi; Etebo, Aribo, Lookman, Simon; Osimhen, Ighalo
Ghana’s Possible Starting Lineup:
Wollacott; Mensah, Amartey, Djiku, Odoi; Partey, Baba, Kudus; J Ayew, Afena-Gyan, A Ayew
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