Nigeria will be looking to continue their pursuit of the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday evening as they take on South Africa in Cairo.
The Super Eagles are arguably one of the most fancied to go all the way in the competition but come up against one of the shock packages of the tournament so far. Having lifted the trophy on three previous occasions, Gernot Rohr’s men are one of the favourites to taste glory yet again at odds of 5/1 with Coral. On the other hand, South Africa have only ever won the competition once in 1996 on home soil. Bafana Bafana can be backed at a price of 12/1 to go all the way this time around.
Regarding this particular game, the all-time head-to-head record between the two teams could provide some valuable clues. In 13 matches between the two sides, Nigeria have managed to rack up the better record having won six games to South Africa’s two, with a further five draws. However, Stuart Baxter’s men have now managed to go without defeat in their last five games against Nigeria. The latter can be backed at a price of 21/20 with Betfair to win in 90 minutes, with South Africa slightly less fancied at 10/3 and a draw also at 19/10.
However, the match is all about qualification for the next round. Nigeria are once again favourites at 2/5 with William Hill and South Africa are at odds of 7/4 to make their first semi-final appearance since 2000.
Another past statistic that could also indicate how this particular clash is going to go is the fact that on only four occasions both sides have managed to find the net in the same game. That eventuality currently sits at 1/2 with Paddy Power, with a ‘no’ able to be backed at a price of 7/5.
One man that South Africa will certainly have to keep an eye on is Odion Ighalo. The former Watford man is currently joint top scorer at the tournament following his brace against Cameroon and is at 4/1 with Betfred to open the scoring this time around. Meanwhile, South Africa’s hero from the last round is available at 12/1 to be named as the first goalscorer on Wednesday.
Regarding injuries, it is unlikely that there will be any changes to the South Africa team for this clash with the team having a clean bill of health. Elsewhere, former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is likely to be included after he recovered from a knee injury that saw him miss the defeat to Madagascar. Shehu Abdullahi can also feature again after recovering from his knee problem.