Nigeria will face Lesotho in a 2026 FIFA World Cup quailification match. Sportsration presents a preview of the matchday one clash between the Eagles and the Crocodiles.
Type of match: 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Stage: Matchday one
Fixture: Nigeria Vs Lesotho
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2023
Venue: Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo
Kick-off Time: 5pm [Nigerian Time]
ABOUT THE MATCH
Nigeria and Lesotho will be meeting for a fifth time at men’s full international level.
The Eagles have a perfect record over their less-illustrious opponents, winning all four games.
Jose Peseiro’s men are in good form and high in confidence coming into this match.
Nigeria are undefeated in their last five matches.
In this period, the Eagles have taken four victories and a draw, with a 2-2 International Friendly draw against Saudi Arabia and a 3-2 win vs Mozambique to end a 15-game Friendly winless streak, their last engagement.
Another motivation for the Super Eagles will be the disappointment of missing out on qualification for the last World Cup. Ghana qualified on away goals, and so Nigeria will be determined to make amends this time.
Their susccesful 2023 AFCON qualification run will serve as template as they battle for one automatic ticket in group C, but that journey will start without three key players.
Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Wilfred Ndidi are unavailable for the Eagles but with a very talented squad, the Eagles should not have issues replacing the trio.
For Lesotho, on paper, they are tipped to struggle in Group C that also houses, South Africa, Benin Republic, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
A strong performance Vs Nigeria in Uyo will improve their rating as the world cup qualification journey begins.
In the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, Lesotho managed to hold Ivory Coast to a 0-0 draw in one of the games, and may require same performance or more to stop Nigeria.
Also, Lesotho were finalists at the 2023 COSAFA Cup earlier this year.
The Crocodiles topped their group with six points in three games and went on to reach the final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Zambia.
Nigeria will start as favourites to win this game but must be wary of the visitors or will defend with all their arsenal.
PREDICTED STARTING XI
Nigeria predicted starting lineup:
Uzoho; Osayi-Samuel, Ajayi, Bassey, Aina; Iwobi, Onyeka, Iheanacho, Lookman, Tella, Boniface.
Lesotho predicted starting lineup:
Moerane; Mkwanazi, Sello, Makepe, Malane; Lebokollane, Lesaoana, Mokhachane, Bereng, Sefali; Brown