Nigeria vs Libya Return Leg: Libyans Charged To Take Pounds of Flesh
Nigeria won the first leg with a huge degree of comfort but will not expect to have things easy in the reverse fixture billed for Sfax.
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The Super Eagles made a false start to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, losing 2-0 at home to South Africa. However, their 3-0 victory in Seychelles seems to have turned their fortunes around as they are now second in Group E.
Libya are still hurt following their 4-0 defeat in Uyo, however, and will relish the opportunity to put one over on the three-time African Kings in Tunisia.
Libya and Nigeria play each other for a second time in three days, the reverse fixture in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations double-header qualifier, at the Stade Taieb Mhiri, Sfax, Tunisia on Tuesday.
Key players missing for both teams:
Injury and suspensions will deny both Nigeria and Libya the availability of key players, a blow for both.
Abdullahi Shehu continues his injury battles this season, the latest setback being a thigh muscle injury sustained inside the opening 20 minutes against Libya at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Saturday.
The Bursaspor player, who has being a consistent and important member of the Super Eagles team since his debut three years ago, sits out a second game in three matches in the qualifying campaign due to recurring injuries.
Ola Aina, who came in for Shehu on Saturday, is expected to earn his second international start for Nigeria barring any last-minute unforeseen circumstances, as he slots in at right-back.
For their part, Libya are expected to be without the experienced duo of Muhammad Nashnoush and left-back Ahmed Al-Maghasi after both players received their second bookings of the qualifiers in Uyo.
Despite conceding four goals, Nashnoush, 30, who doubles as captain of his side, will be a big miss for the Mediterranean Knights, and should be replaced in goal by Ahmed Azzaqeh.
Super Eagles gun for hat-trick of wins:
Nigeria’s quest to qualify for Cameroon will receive a massive boost if the Super Eagles earn a third successive win, only the second time it would happen during Gernot Rohr’s managerial career with the West Africans.
The team have bounced back from their opening home game upset against South Africa, carrying on their post-World Cup momentum to earn consecutive wins against Seychelles and Libya which moves them into second in Group E.
A third straight qualification victory – and the second on the road – would take Nigeria’s points tally to nine, and open a five-point gap ahead of the third-place North Africans.
The likely implication of the above scenario is that Nigeria will require just one more victory – even if it means settling for second-place – in their final two games against South Africa and Seychelles to lock down one of the 24 available tickets.