South Africa vs Nigeria – Over 2.5 goals is the play in clash of Group E rivals

The Super Eagles to secure 2019 AFCON ticket with win
South Africa vs Nigeria Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips
Nigeria and South Africa tipped to serve up goals in AFCON Qualifier (Getty Images)

South Africa vs Nigeria Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Nigeria are on the verge of booking their place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as they travel to the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to face South Africa. Both teams have a penchant for open, attacking football and over 2.5 goals appears to be the most likely outcome on Saturday.


Both teams are also depleted coming into this clash but the visitors have a great record against the South Africans and should secure the win.

South Africa 


Bafana Bafana were held to a disappointing goalless draw away at lowly Seychelles in their previous AFCON Qualifier back in October. They completely dominated the possession but struggled to break down the stubborn hosts. 

Stuart Baxter's men are still unbeaten in the qualifiers having secured two wins and two draws in their four matches so far. Despite their unbeaten status, they are second in the group with eight points, one behind their visitors.

The South Africans have been hit by injuries ahead of the crucial clash with key midfielders Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Bongani Zungu all missing. 

Nigeria


The Super Eagles edged out Libya 3-2 in their previous fixture in the qualifiers. Odion Ighalo struck a brace while Ahmed Musa added a third as the West African team did the double over their rivals having secured a 4-0 victory in the reverse fixture.

Gernot Rohr's men had suffered a 2-0 home defeat to the South Africans in their opening match in the campaign but have since bounced back with three straight wins. They are top of the group with nine points and will book their place in next year's tournament in Cameroon with a win on Saturday.

Nigeria will also be without several key players as midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is suspended while striker Odion Ighalo is ruled out with injury. In the absence of the striker, Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho and Henry Onyekuru will carry the attacking threat for the Eagles.

Nigeria's Alex Iwobi has been in fine form and could be the key man (Getty Images)

Head-to-Head 


There have been 10 previous matches involving South Africa and Nigeria with the West Africans leading the head-to-head by six wins to one. The hosts were victorious in the last meeting between both teams as they claimed a 2-0 away victory in Nigeria.

Match-Up 


With the South Africans missing several key players through injury, they will depend heavily on Lebogang Maboe and Lebo Mothiba. Both men bring a lot of pace and power to the team and will give the Nigerians a lot to think of.

The visitors will be looking to Musa and Alex Iwobi to provide the spark on Saturday. The pace of Musa could be pivotal to the team while Iwobi’s guile and creativity is likely to open up the South African defence.

Nigeria's head coach Gernot Rohr is set to edge South African rival Stuart Baxter (Getty Images)

Key Statistics 


  • South Africa have lost 6 of their last 10 matches against Nigeria (All Competitions).
  • South Africa have seen Over 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 5 matches (All Competitions).
  • Nigeria have won 4 of their last 5 matches (All Competitions). 
  • Nigeria have seen Over 2.5 goals in 4 of their last 5 matches (All Competitions).

Verdict


Sunday’s fixture looks set to feature goals as both teams favour an open and attacking style of play. The Super Eagles have the momentum heading into the clash and are good enough to secure the win.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.55 – 5 Units
Value Bet: Nigeria Win @ 4.50 – 2 Units

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