Nigeria welcome South Africa to the Akwa Ibom Stadium on Wednesday evening in a must-win encounter as the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers draw to a close. The Super Eagles did themselves a lot of good by beating Congo 2-0 in their last game in Pointe-Noire, a result which indicates that they have stand a chance to defend their African title should they bring Shakes Mashaba’s men to their knees in Uyo.
Bafana Bafana, who have already booked a place in the competition thanks to their 2-1 win against Sudan, will be hoping to end the qualifying campaign unbeaten as well as put an end to the Super Eagles' dominance over them.
Both teams head into this game with 11 goals from five games in Group A, but South Africa have been more solid in defence as they have let in just one goal, while Nigeria have conceded one less than half a dozen.
One player to watch out for in this game is Ikechukwu Uche, who earned a surprise recall to the national squad in light of coach Stephen Keshi’s return to the national team. He got Nigeria’s curtain raiser against Congo via a well taken penalty kick.
Keshi is expected to stick to his team who tamed the Red Devils on Saturday except for Hope Akpan who will be missing in action. The Reading FC midfielder pulled his shoulder during Saturday’s 2-0 victory in Pointe-Noire.
Defender Godfrey Oboabona will also miss the encounter due to suspension as he got a second yellow card in the game against the Red Devils but the Eagles are boosted by the return of Kenneth Omeruo who missed the game in Congo.
Mashaba is likely to miss the services of Ajax Amsterdam attacking midfielder Thulani Serero who pulled out of training due to a hamstring injury on Monday.
Serero scored their opening goal against Sudan and could be replaced by any of Themba Zwane or Mandla Masango, who are both capable legs.
The South Africans are boosted by the return of former Kaizer Chiefs striker Lehlohonolo Majoro who is back to fitness.
The reverse fixture in September ended in a goalless draw in Cape Town andBafanahave talked about finally breaking the Nigerian hoodoo, having never won a match against the Super Eagles in a competitive fixture.
The match will kick off at 6pm in Uyo on Wednesday evening.