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Central African Republic vs Nigeria prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Nigeria will play the return qualifier against Central African Republic on Sunday
Nigeria will play the return qualifier against Central African Republic on Sunday
Ume Elvis
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Central African Republic and Nigeria will battle for three points at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

The matchday four fixture will pit two sides who faced one another three days earlier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

A pathetic and insipid display from Nigeria saw them suffer a 1-0 defeat to Central African Republic on home turf. Karl Namnganda stepped off the bench to score the winning goal in injury time after a defensive mix-up between William Trost-Ekong and Leon Balgoun.

It was the first time the Super Eagles had lost a FIFA World Cup qualifier on home turf since a 2-0 reversal against Algeria in October 1981. It also represented one of the biggest shocks in African football in recent memory.

Despite the loss, the west Africans still sit top of the table in Group C with six points from three matches. However, just three points separate the first from bottom in the group and all four sides are still in with a shot at qualifying for the next round.


Central African Republic vs Nigeria Head-to-Head

Thursday's meeting was the first international clash between the two sides and CAR's victory sent shockwaves across the continent. The win halted a run of nine international games without a victory for the Wild Beasts.

It also boosted their chances of making it to the next round. However, the fact that the second leg will be played on neutral ground robs them of what would have been an invaluable home advantage.

CAR form guide: W-L-D-L-L

Nigeria form guide: L-W-W-L-D


Central African Republic vs Nigeria Team News

Central African Republic

Coach Raoul Savoy hinted in his post-match interview after Thursday's spectacular victory that some of his best players did not travel to Lagos due to visa issues.

Injuries: None

Suspension: None

Nigeria

Premier League trio Alex Iwobi, Peter Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi all missed the first leg due to injuries and they, alongside Samuel Chukueze and Tereq Moffi, are still sidelined.

Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho suffered what appeared to be a groin injury in the first half on Thursday, although he partook in the final training session on Friday.

There were hardly any players that impressed in the first leg and Gernot Rohr might make wholescale changes to his starting lineup.

Injuries: Peter Etebo, Tereq Moffi, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Chukwueze

Doubtful: Kelechi Iheanacho

Suspension: None


Central African Republic vs Nigeria Predicted XI

Central African Republic Predicted XI (5-4-1): Prince Samolah (GK); Steve Niamathe, Ngam Cyr, Sadock Ndobe, Peter Guinari, F.J. Yangao; Tresor Toropite, Thibault Bari, Cyrus Grengou, Melky-Jerede Ndokomandji; M'Vondo Georgino

Nigeria Predicted XI (4-3-3); Francis Uzoho (GK); Calvin Bassey, Chidozie Awaziem, Kenneth Omeruo, Ola Aina; Frank Onyeka, Innocent Bonke, Joe Aribo; Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Chidera Ejuke


Central African Republic vs Nigeria Prediction

Raoul Savoy set up his side to defend deep and try to catch Nigeria on the counter on Thursday. He is likely to deploy similar tactics in the return leg, even though the game will be played on neutral ground.

Nigeria's defeat on home turf was a wake-up call to them after a string of unconvincing performances. The players who take to the field will be keen to right the wrong.

Gernot Rohr's side are still heavy favorites despite Thursday's setback and we are backing the three-time African champions to secure all three points.

Prediction: Central African Republic 0-2 Nigeria


Edited by Peter P
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