The Super Eagles have been involved in seven third-place matches at the Africa Cup of Nations and they have won all. But there are doubts about Gernot Rohr's Eagles and their ability to maintain the record.
A last-minute knockout was what the Foxes of Algeria delivered unto the Eagles' chin last Sunday - with most Nigerians yet to fully recover from the devastation. We will not talk about the 'unlucky' green jersey or the mundane matter of Daniel Akpeyi and his 'fake' wall - we will focus on the Eagles becoming the third-best football team in Africa. Scant consolation!
So where do we go from here? Or put more appropriately, 'where does Gernot Rohr go from here?"
Current Form: Nigeria [L-W-W-L-W]; Tunisia [L-W-W-D-D]
Head to head
Fri 22/01/16 ANC Tunisia 1 - 1 Nigeria
Sun 06/09/09 WQA Nigeria 2 - 2 Tunisia
Sat 20/06/09 WQA Tunisia 0 - 0 Nigeria
Sat 04/02/06 ACO Nigeria P 1 - 1 Tunisia
Wed 11/02/04 ACO Tunisia P 1 - 1 Nigeria
Prediction: Nigeria 1-2 Tunisia
Did You Know: Nigeria have been outrun in five of the six matches played - only against Algeria did Rohr's side cover more ground than their opponents.
Attempts on Target2425
Distance Covered [Km]597673
Decoding the Stats
The Tunisians will be ready to run and indeed could prove physically superior, though some of their tackles could be overboard.
Five duels to watch
Odion Ighalo v Dylan Bronn
It is certain Ighalo will be gunning for another goal, as he aims for the highest goal scorer award. But in Bronn, he will be facing a hurt defender, desperate to redeem himself from an unfortunate own goal against Senegal.
Wilfred Ndidi v Anice Badri
Ndidi has been his usual hard-working, box-to-box midfielder. But he must be wary of Badri's movement and ability to use the space just before the central defenders.
Leon Balogun v Taha Khenissi
The much-maligned defender will get his last chance to redeem his image before very critical Nigerian football fans but Khenissi will be all out to tarnish that already soiled image the more.
Moses Simon v Oussama Haddadi
Simon has been just above average in Egypt. But he can remind everyone of his pure dribbling skills against Haddadi, who has been dribbled past just thrice in six matches.
Oghenekaro Etebo v Ellyes Skhiri
The pick of the Nigerian squad for Egypt 2019 must be Etebo, a player comfortable in many roles on the pitch. Very capable of running a game, Etebo will face the tenacity and aggressiveness of Skhiri, who likes to dominate the midfield.
What they are saying
"We will keep focused in the third place playoff and hope to sign off with a happy result." - Gernot Rohr, Nigeria Manager
"Our target was more than just reaching the semifinal. But now we focus on the game against Nigeria and hope to win the third place." - Alain Giresse, Tunisia Manager
Probable Starting XI
Nigeria [4-2-3-1]: Daniel Akpeyi; Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins; Wilfred Ndidi; Oghenekaro Etebo, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon; Odion Ighalo
Tunisia [4-1-4-1]: Farouk Mustapha; Mohamed Drager, Dylan Bronn, Yassine Meriah, Oussama Haddadi; Ayman Mohamed, Ellyes Skhiri, Ghilane Chaalali; Anice Badri, Naim Sliti, Taha Khenissi
Read the original article on Premium Times.
Rohr Keeps Nigerians Guessing On His Next Move
The Super Eagles' Dashed Dreams and New Hope
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