Nigeria's Super Eagles yesterday retained their fifth spot in the African standing of the FIFA ranking for the month of October released yesterday.
Although Gernot Rohr's wards dropped from 34th to 36th in the global ranking, they remained in the Top 5 of African football going into the final second phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers means that Super Eagles are likely to avoid some of the big names in the draw.
Expectedly, Super Eagles defeat at home in Lagos by the Central African Republic in a Group C fixture of the AFCON qualifier must have played a large role in the drop. Another poor run that may take out the team from the Top 5 is likely to spell doom for the three-time African champions.
Top nations like Senegal, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia maintain their standing ahead of Nigeria in the latest ranking. They are the teams Nigerian ball fans dread and always pray to avoid as much as possible in the knock out phase.
As things are, there is no way Eagles can be drawn against any of them except Nigeria flounder and are beaten by either or both Cape Verde and Liberia in the remaining two games.
The Pharaohs of Egypt in the 44th spot however stand the chance to upstage Nigeria coming into the Top 5 if the unimaginable happens like the Wild Beast did at Teslim Balogun Stadium a fortnight ago.
For now, Eagles can only be paired with any of these team; Egypt, Ghana/South Africa, CIV/Cameroon, Mali and Tanzania/Benin.
It is only if we drop to 6th and below that we can then begin to resort to prayers against such teams as Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.
On the global level, Belgium still maintained their top spot followed by Brazil and France who won the UEFA Nations League. The Italians moved to fourth spot.
The next FIFA ranking is scheduled to be published on the 25th of November.
AFRICA'S TOP 5