Chad results in the qualifiers have now been nullified for Egypt to remain top of Group G with ...
Chad results in the qualifiers have now been nullified for Egypt to remain top of Group G with four points, still two points clear of Nigeria with Tanzania bottom on a point.
Chad’s withdrawal also means that this group can only produce one qualifier and the three teams will not be considered for the two best losers slots.
After Tuesday’s rematch, Egypt will travel to Tanzania for their last group game, while Nigeria welcome the Tanzanians in September. A draw could therefore still be good enough for Egypt on Tuesday, while Nigeria have to win on the day to ensure they still have their destiny in their own hands.
Egypt may have won the AFCON a record seven times, but they have not qualified for the previous three editions of the tournament since their last conquest in 2010.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON and should they not feature at Gabon 2017, it will be the second time that the country will fail under the troubled administration of NFF president Amaju Pinnick.
The Pharaohs are not leaving anything to chance with the interior ministry now allowing for 40,000 fans to watch this rematch after the crowd bans since the tragic incident in 2012 when 72 fans died at the Port Said Stadium.
They will also expected to a lot more adventurous than they were on Friday, when they generally stayed put in their own half of the pitch only really opening up to chase the game after Oghenekaro Etebo opener on the hour.
The Nigeria defence will be fully stretched on Tuesday as Mohamed Salah, Mahamoud Trezeguet and Ahmed Hassan ‘Kouka’ led the home team’s attack again.
The Eagles will be without first-choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who has missed training due to a stomach problem, and it is expected that South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi will start in goal on Tuesday.
Nigeria will be boosted with the return from a three-match ban of Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi for Etebo to play a more attacking role in midfield.
Samson Siasia’s teams love to attack and are always capable of scoring goals, but the coach would also have to take a second look at his strike force – should Victor Moses start or should another striker lead the attack other than Watford star Odion Ighalo, who was largely ineffective in Kaduna?
“We will take the game to Egypt in front of their fans,” declared Celtic defender Efe Ambrose.
“We need all three points in Egypt. It’s a tough task, but we’re capable,” added Akpeyi.
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Venue: Alexandria Stadium Egypt
Kick off Time: 6pm