Nigeria/Tunisia: Nigeria Vs Tunisia - Eagles Need a 3rd Place Consolation

Photo: CAF
Nigeria beats Tunisia to win bronze.

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

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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.

StatsNigeriaTunisia

Attempts on Target2425

Corner Kicks3325

Distance Covered [Km]597673

Fouls Committed110123

Yellow Cards511

Goals Scored86

Goals Conceded74

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

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