A ticket to the play off round of Caf qualifiers for the Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup will be the bone of contention when the Super Eagles battle the Flames of Malawi at the UJ Esuene stadium in Calabar.
A goal at the death from John Banda ensured the Malawians shared the spoils with Nigeria when they hosted the west African giants in the first leg last year.
Nigeria currently leads the group but will proceed to the third round should they record at least a draw in this crunch tie while the Malawians must get a outright victory to throw Nigeria’s fifth Fifa World Cup ambition into thin air.
Stephen Keshi’s men come into this match after winning the Mandela challenge against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa. As expected, Nigeria is 2/11(1.18) with Ladbrokes take all three points.
The Flames are massive underdogs to win this tie. Malawi, who are yet to feature in any FIFA World Cup finals suffered a setback by losing 1-0 to Botswana in a friendly on Tuesday. Ladbrokes don’t give them much hope in this match, however, pricing them at 20/1 (21.00) to cause a major surprise with victory.
The draw is a 9/2 (5.50) play according to the same firm.
What makes this encounter interesting is the fact that both teams are yet to lose a game in so far in qualification with Nigeria scoring 18 goals against Malawi and conceded 8 in previous meetings. With this in mind, backing total goals under 2.5 is available at 8/13 (1.61).
Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s stand in captain will be making his 86th appearance in the green and white jersey, and should he replicate his club form to this game, the Super Eagles will definitely not concede a goal. Backing Nigeria to keep a clean slate at 1/4 (1.25) is a testimony to this.
Keshi’s side have a host of in-form strikers and they should feel confident that they can win by a two-goal margin, a result which would see punters make a healthy profit given the attractive price of 3/20 (1.15) for Nigeria to win either half.