Nigeria host Lesotho on Tuesday at 5pm (UK time) in their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.
The Super Eagles have already sealed progression to their second consecutive Afcon tournament and 19th overall. Lesotho, meanwhile, are bottom of the group and have only pride to play for.
Nigeria vs Lesotho build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
4-4 and 0-0 draws with Sierra Leone aside, Nigeria have been totally dominant in Group L, winning all three of their games against Benin and Lesotho so far. Gernot Rohr’s men have scored 11 goals in five games, at least six more than any other side in the group, and cannot be caught in first place, sitting four points clear of Benin in second.
Lesotho, meanwhile, have failed to win any of their five games so far, drawing three times and losing twice, including a 4-2 defeat to Nigeria back in November 2019. If they can pick up a solitary victory here, coupled with Benin winning their final game, there’s a chance they could leapfrog Sierra Leone into third place, but that’s the best Lesotho can hope for as the wait for their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations appearance goes on.
|Goalkeepers||Maduka Okoye, John Nobel, Francis Uzoho|
|Defenders||Leon Balogun, Chidozie Awaziem, Adeleke Adekunle, William Ekong, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins, Zaidu Sanusi, Tyronne Ebuehi|
|Midfielders||Peter Etebo; Wilfred Ndidi, Abdullahi Shehu, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo; Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Anayo Iwuala|
|Forwards||Ahmed Musa; Alex Iwobi; Samuel Chukwueze; Victor Osimhen; Kelechi Iheanacho, Henry Onyekuru, Paul Onuachu|
Probable XI for Nigeria: Okoye, Aina, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Sanusi, Ndidi, Aribo, Iwobi, Chukwueze, Iheanacho, Osimhen
|Goalkeepers||Monaheng Ramalefane, Sekhoane Moerane, Ntsane Lichaba.|
|Defenders||Thabang Malane, Thabo Lesaoana, Basia Makepe, Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Nkau Lerotholi, Bokang Sello, Thabo Mats’oele.|
|Midfielders||Tau Masiu, Tumelo Ngatane, Hlompho Kalake, Mokoteli Mohapi, Neo Mokhachane, Lits’epe Marabe, Tsepo Toloane, Lehlohonolo Fothoane.|
|Forwards||Motebang Sera, Tumelo Khutlang, Nkoto Masoabi.|
Confirmed XI for Lesotho: Moerane, Malane, Sello, Lerotholi, Makepe, Mkhwanazi, Lesaoana, Toloane, Masoabi, Marabe, Khulang
Alex Iwobi is expected back in the Super Eagles side to face Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The Everton star was ruled out of the encounter against the Benin Republic, having reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
However, further tests in Lagos confirmed that the attacking midfielder is negative fir the virus, while the Confederation of African Football has cleared him to play against the Crocodiles.
On his own part, the 24-year-old expressed his readiness for the dead-rubber encounter against Thabo Senong’s men
“I want to say thank you to everyone showing me love and support during this difficult time,” Iwobi told the NFF media channel.
“Your love has been quite overwhelming and I really appreciate it. I have to respect the Fifa and Caf protocols by isolating in my room.
“I mean it wasn’t easy especially knowing when you have no symptoms and you are okay but the main thing is that I am healthy and ready to go for the last game
- Nigeria (vs Benin): Okoye; Aina, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Sanusi; Aribo, Ndidi; Chukwueze, Iheanacho, Onyekuru; Osimhen.
- Lesotho (vs Sierra Leone): Moerane; Malane, Mkwanazi, Lerotholi, Matsoele; Masiu, Ngatane; Kalake, Fothoane, Mokhachane; Motebang.
Player to watch: Victor Osimhen
Though he hasn’t scored in his previous two Afcon qualifying appearances, Victor Osimhen is Group L’s most lethal marksman with four goals to his name so far. Two of those goals came in a 4-2 win for Nigeria the last time these two nations met and a repeat of that performance will surely mean another victory for the Super Eagles here. On a personal level, Osimhen will also see this as a chance to generate some much-needed confidence after a stuttering start to life with Napoli that has yielded just three goals in 19 appearances across all competitions.
Afcon qualifying recent form:
- Nigeria: WDDWW
- Lesotho: DDLLD