Swim or sink for Nigeria

JOHANNESBURG - Nigeria will be gunning for their first win when they host Sudan today in Abuja so as to have any chance of qualifying for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.The African champions are on the brink of missing out on Morocco 2015 after they crashed 1-0 to Sudan at the weekend.

It was only the second win by Sudan over Nigeria after they also defeated the West Africans 4-0 in a first-ever meeting of both nations in 1963.

The Super Eagles were so poor on the night in Khartoum and will need to raise their game on Wednesday if they are to beat Sudan.

South Africa lead the standings with seven points from three matches. Congo are second with six points, while Sudan have three points.

The Eagles are currently rooted to the bottom of Group A with a point and Nigerian fans showed their disapproval when the team were reportedly booed on arrival at the Abuja airport.

Victory today will put the Eagles back on track for qualification to Afcon 2015.

Ukraine-based forward Babatunde Michael has rejoined the Nigeria squad after he was ruled out of the first encounter due to a knee problem.

But CSKA Moscow winger Ahmed Musa could be a doubt after he picked up a knock in Sudan.

Sudan have grown in confidence ahead of this game after making the Eagles look so ordinary in front of their fans.

Sudan coach Mohamed Abdallah ‘Mazda’ said they are prepared for all Nigeria will throw at them in this reverse fixture.

“We know what to expect because Nigeria is bottom of the table and badly need to get a win. But we shall not give them that room to do what they want to do,” said ‘Mazda’.

Meanwhile, after playing to a goalless draw last Friday in an African Cup of Nations qualifier, Tunisia are set to welcome Senegal for the return match today at the Monastir Stadium in Tunis.

Senegal still lead the Group G standings after playing three games, winning twice while drawing one.

The hosts are sitting at No 2 after two victories and one draw.

Coming into tonight’s clash, both sides will target a win considering the fact that Egypt have picked up momentum against Botswana. Should these two teams lose, the Pharaohs could land a chance to compete for a spot in Morocco 2015.

The Carthage Eagles will look to utilise their home ground advantage and overtake the Senegalese for the pole position.

However, their failure to convert their chances is something that’s worrying coach Georges Leekens as midfielder Hamza Mathlouthi failed to hit the net at the Leopold Senghor Stadium, in Dakar.

However, Leekens will expect his defence manned by the likes of Aymen Abdennour to continue standing firm to consolidate their chances of qualification. – SuperSport

Today: Cameroon v Sierra Leone (4pm), Togo v Uganda (5pm), Cape Verde v Mozambique (5:30pm), Ghana v Guinea (6pm), Nigeria v Sudan (6pm), Angola v Lesotho (6pm), Zambia v Niger (6pm), Egypt v Botswana (7pm), Ivory Coast v DR Congo (7pm), Burkina Faso v Gabon (8pm), Mali v Ethiopia (8pm), South Africa v Congo (8:05pm), Tunisia v Senegal (9:15pm), Algeria v Malawi (9:30pm)

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