Nigeria will be making a short stop at the Ismialia Stadium on Sunday, for their final build-up match against Senegal, before they turn their attention to the highly anticipated African Cup of Nations campaign, which begins next week.
It will also be the last warm-up match for the Teranga Lions who will be making the trip to Egypt, after successfully qualifying to the final group stages for the third time in a row.
While Senegal is Africa’s number one –ranked team, Nigeria is number three with only Tunisia between them, according to latest rankings by world governing–body FIFA.
The Super Eagles play Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in Group B of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt (with Alexandria as venue) while Senegal are up against Algeria, Kenya and Tanzania in Group C with Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium as venue.
Egypt 2019 is Nigeria’s 18th appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations, three more than Senegal.
With both teams tipped to top their respective groups, the match on Sunday is sure to be an intense ninety minutes with both the African sides certain to set their eyes on nothing less than the win.
The Super Eagles who are three-time African Cup of Nations Champions, come into the game against Senegal after being held to a 1-1 draw by South Africa, the last time they were on the road. The home side, on the other hand, are currently on a very impressive run of form at home, having staged a very dramatic comeback in their most recent fixture against Mali, where they scored two goals in the last five minutes to take the win.
The teams have met each other on six occasions.
Nigeria has never kept a clean sheet against Senegal.
Nigeria came from behind to level the scores at 1-1 in their last encounter.
Senegal’s last victory against Nigeria was way back in 2002.
Despite Senegal managing just one win in their last six meetings with Nigeria, the match on Sunday at the Stade Leopold Senghor is certain to swing in favour of the home side. The visitors have not exactly been a commanding force on the road, managing just two wins in their last five away matches.
The Teranga Lions in comparison, are currently on an inspiring three match unbeaten streak at home. It also needs mentioning that the hosts have managed to record two clean sheets in the process and have amassed a total of seven goals in their last three home matches.
The Senegal side will definitely be counting on their wingers M’Baye Niang and Sadio Mane to cause problems for the Nigerian Defence along the flanks and to score a couple of goals at the other end. However, the hosts will have to be equally cautious of the visitors in their own defensive third considering that the away side have found the net seven times in their last three away matches.
The fixture on Sunday is likely to be a low scoring one, with the win almost certain to go in favour of the Lions.
Prediction: Senegal to win.