Nigeria can secure their place in next year’s Fifa World Cup when they take on Zambia at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Saturday.
Gernot Rohr’s men are three points clear at the summit of Group B with two games left to go, indicating that victory or at least a draw would push them over the line with a game to spare.
For the Chipolopolo – who are Super Eagles’ nearest rival – a shock win at the ‘Nest of Champions’ would offer them a lifeline to qualify for their maiden World Cup.
|Game||Nigeria vs Zambia|
|Date||Saturday, October 7|
|Time||17:00 BST / 12:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the game will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2, as well as being available to stream online using the BT Sport app.
|Nigeria TV channel||Online stream|
|SS3N, SuperSport Select Go||N/A|
In the U.S., the match will not be available to watch live on television or using an online stream.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport Player|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Ajiboye|
|Defenders||Echiejile, Abdullahi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Awaziem, Agbo, Aina|
|Midfielders||Mikel, Onazi, Ogu, Ndidi, Etebo, Oghenekaro|
|Forwards||Musa, Moses, Simon, Ighalo, Iheanacho, Nwakaeme, Iwobi|
Alex Iwobi and Daniel Akpeyi have returned to the squad having missed out of Cameroon game owing to injury.
Plateau United’s Dele Ajiboye takes the place of Dele Alampasu while Tyronne Ebuehi was excused for Uche Agbo who features for Standard Liege in Gernot Rohr’s squad.
There are slight concerns over Ahmed Musa’s form, but he is likely to start from the bench against the Chipolopolo.
Potential starting XI: Ezenwa; Echiejile, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi; Mikel, Onazi, Ndidi, Moses; Iwobi, Ighalo.
|Goalkeepers||Mweene, Nsabata, Chibwe|
|Defenders||Silwimba, Kapumbu, Chama, Sunzu, Tembo, Shamujompa|
|Midfielders||Lungu, Malama, Mtonga, Chaila, Mulenga, Mwepu, Ching'andu, Kabwe, Mbewe|
|Forwards||Shonga, Sakala, Ng'onga, Daka|
Zambia will rely heavily on the ability and experience of Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene as they look to upset the hosts at Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Going forward they are able to call upon the services of Spartak Moscow’s Fashion Sakala and Red Bull Salzburg’s Patson Daka.
Although Edward Chilufya, Brian Mwila and Emmanuel Banda are out of this encounter owing to contrasting reasons, Wedson Nyirenda will be hoping to get the best from his available players.
Potential starting XI: Mweene, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Silwimba, Mtonga, Mwepu, Mulenga, Mbewe, Shonga, Daka
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Nigeria are (1.45) favourites to win, according to Nairabet, with Zambia priced at (7.75) to overcome the Super Eagles. A draw is available at (4.00).
Nigeria head into their penultimate World Cup qualifier on Saturday knowing that their place at the 2018 World Cup can be wrapped up provided they don’t fumble at home.
The Super Eagles are unbeaten in the qualifiers but they will be wary of the Zambians who are in dire need of a win to revive their World Cup qualification aspiration.
The Chipolopolo head into this tie on a revenge mission having bowed 2-1 at home in their first game – a result they could regret should they falter in Uyo.
However, just like the game against Cameroon, Nigeria are set to start Odion Ighalo in the attack, with John Obi Mikel making the supplies from the middle.
Should events conspire to confirm Nigeria’s place in Russia next year, Coach Gernot Rohr will subsequently have the freedom to experiment in the final group match against Algeria, which takes place on November 6 in Bilda.