LL staff Report
It’s not quite the German and English rivalry as we know it, but when the Lone Stars and the Super Eagles square up tomorrow in Lagos, Nigeria, tacticians Genot Rohr (German) and Peter Butler(English), will come face to face in a battle, that will see fireworks from both ends of the pitch–to only 5000 fans— due to Covid restrictions. Butler is grooming a special group of young players— and it is a delight to see them play–but the Eagles, however, are heavily favored to win this duel.
If the Liberians manage a draw or get a win, which is very much unlikely, their stock on the Fifa rankings should go up, and scouts will give his players much attention —while — Butler has a great combination of young players like Dorley, Tweh, Macaulay, and Dweh etc, but with Awobi, Kelechi, Musa and Ndidi on the pitch, the Liberians will have to give a good account of themselves or else… It’s going be a really bad day. However wins against the Central African Republic, should be within reach, if Butler learns much from the Nigeria battle.
At stake: Liberia will need a strong midfield, respectable ball control and possession, and ample shots on goal, to obtain any desire result/s. Nigeria on the other hand is playing at home will put to use the experience of its star players, and will be looking for a win, against the visiting minnows. Butler has boasted that he will “back himself up against any coach” in the qualifying campaign and seems sure of the pedigree of his players. We will find out tomorrow at 6gmt.
Nigeria key player: Awobi
Liberia key player: Dorley
Prediction: 2-1 Nigeria
Nigeria Vs Liberia, A Preview—
Ume Elvis FOLLOW
Nigeria welcomes Liberia to the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos for a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday. The hosts will be looking to get back to winning ways, having played out a goalless draw with Cameroon in an international friendly in June.
World Cup Qualification,
CAF, Group C
Liberia were at the end of a 5-1 hounding by Algeria in a friendly the same month. Lugano forward Mohamed Amoura was the star of the show with four goals in the rout.
The Lone Star secured their spot in this round of the qualifiers by virtue of their 3-2 aggregate victory over Sierra Leone in the first round two years ago. The Super Eagles received a bye to the second round.
Nigeria and Liberia have been grouped in Group C alongside Cape Verde and the Central African Republic. Only the top-ranked side will secure qualification for the next round of the qualifiers.
Nigeria vs Liberia Head-to-Head
This will be the 15th meeting between the two sides and Nigeria have an overwhelmingly better record in previous matches played.
The West African giants have nine wins to their name, while two previous matches ended in a share of the spoils. Liberia were victorious on three occasions.
Their most recent meeting came in a friendly fixture in September 2018 when goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simy Nwankwo gave Nigeria a 2-1 away win.
Nigeria form guide: D-L-W-W-D
Liberia form guide: L-W-L-W-L
Nigeria vs Liberia Team News
Coach Gernot Rohr called up 29 players to dispute the games against Liberia and Cape Verde. The squad is headlined by seasoned campaigners on the biggest stages including Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi and Wilfed Ndidi.
A notable absentee is the in-form Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi, with Rohr preferring to extend invitations to players he has previously worked with.
Team captain William-Troost Ekong, as well as Leon Balogun, Jamilu Collins and Samuel Kalu, return to the team having missed the last international fixture due to injuries.
Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze is yet to recover from his hamstring injury and was excluded.
The England-based players will, however, not partake in the clash with Cape Verde. This is because all Premier League clubs have restricted their players from traveling to countries on the United Kingdom’s ‘red list’ for COVID-19 protocols.
Injury: Samuel Chukwueze
Coach Peter Butler extended invitations to 23 players for games against Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
Nigeria vs Liberia Predicted XI
Nigeria Predicted XI (4-3-3): Maduka Okoye (GK); Jamilu Collins, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Ola Ain; Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi; Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen
Liberia Predicted XI (4-4-2): Ashley Williams (GK); Prince Balde, Jeremy Saygbe, Alvin Maccornel, Sampson Dweh; Abrahim Mohamed Soumaoro, Murphy Dorley, Marcus Macauley, Terrence Tisdell; Ayouba Kosiah, Kpah Sherman
Nigeria vs Liberia Prediction
Nigeria’s squad is littered with an array of difference-makers and players with pedigree in virtually all departments. This installs the Super Eagles as the overwhelming favorites to triumph on home soil.
Barring an unlikely upset, there should be only one winner here. We are predicting a comfortable victory for the three-time African champions.
Prediction: Nigeria 3-0 Liberia