Four matches to watch this weekend

Super eagles celebrating goal

Nigeria v Rwanda @ Grand Stade de Tanger @7:30pm on Jan 15

In four total meetings between the two countries, Nigeria has never lost – winning two and drawing two. They last met on August 16, 2012, a match the Super Eagles won 2-0. Ikechukwu Ezenwa will captain the team coached by Salisu Yusuf as they hope to go all the way and win the only football trophy in Africa that has not been won by Nigeria.

Rwanda hosted the last tournament and went as far as the quarterfinals, where they narrowly lost to Congo DR 2-1 after extra time. Congo DR went on to win the tournament by beating Mali 3-0 in the final. They qualified for this tournament by beating Tanzania.

Current Form: Nigeria [W-D-W-D-W]; Rwanda [W-D-L-L-D]

Head to head

Sat 16/06/12 ACO Nigeria 2 – 0 Rwanda

Wed 29/02/12 ACO Rwanda 0 – 0 Nigeria

Sat 04/06/05 WQA Rwanda 1 – 1 Nigeria

Fri 04/06/04 WQA Nigeria 2 – 0 Rwanda

Prediction: Nigeria 3-1 Rwanda

Liverpool v Man. City @Anfield @5pm on Jan 14

Can Jurgen Klopp get his revenge over Pep Guardiola? Will the Reds, without the departed Philippe Coutinho hand City their first league defeat? So close to call but the 5-0 bashing suffered in September at the Etihad would still be rankling, which means the Liverpool players will be fired up.

Virgil Van Dijk is expected to make a first league start while City may have to do without David Silva, who is facing a tense domestic situation. Liverpool travelled to Dubai to prepare for this encounter while City needed a 90th-minute goal to beat Bristol City in the first leg of the Carabao League Cup semifinal. Would rest and freshness play a part in deciding this result? Very close to call!

Current Form: Liverpool [W-W-W-W-D]; Man. City [W-W-D-W-W]

Head to head

Sat 09/09/17 PRL Man. City 5 – 0 Liverpool

Sun 19/03/17 PRL Man. City 1 – 1 Liverpool

Sat 31/12/16 PRL Liverpool 1 – 0 Man. City

Wed 02/03/16 PRL Liverpool 3 – 0 Man. City

Sun 28/02/16 LEC Liverpool 1 – 1 P Man. City

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Man. City

South Africa v Nigeria @Peter Mokaba Stadium @3:30pm on Jan 13

Nigeria’s U-20 women’s team – the Falconets are in South Africa for the last qualifying round for the U-20 FIFA Women World Cup scheduled for France in August. In four previous meetings at this level, the Nigerians have conceded just once and won all four, scoring 10 goals.

The team coached by Christopher Danjuma beat Tanzania and Morocco to qualify for this round while their South African opponents hurdled Burundi to get to this final round. Rasheedat Ajibade is expected to lead the Nigerian team’s charge for goals on Saturday at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. Nigeria has qualified for every FIFA tournament since 2002.

Current Form: South Africa [W-L-W-W-L]; Nigeria [W-D-W-W-W]

Head to head

08/11/15 CUW South Africa U20 0 – 1 Nigeria U20

23/10/15 CUW Nigeria U20 2 – 1 South Africa U20

25/01/14 CUW South Africa U20 0 – 1 Nigeria U20

11/01/14 CUW Nigeria U20 6 – 0 South Africa U20

Prediction: South Africa 1-2 Nigeria

Nantes v PSG @Stade de la Beaujoire @9pm on Jan 14

Four has been the common denominator for goals scored by PSG in their last five meetings with Nantes. Earlier this season – in November, Claudio Ranieri saw his team bashed 4-1 but having won their last three matches, his team have the confidence to cause a shock on Sunday. Nantes have lost twice at home this season – 0-1 to Marseille in August and then 1-2 to Nice in December, which shows they are a hard nut to crack in Arribas. Their visitors have scored a phenomenal 24 goals away from home, losing just once out of nine away fixtures.

Ranieri may need to pack more than the proverbial double-decker bus at Anton Tatarusanu’s goal and great tackling and covering from his Nigerian defender, Chidozie Awaziem to prevent another four-goal defeat.

Current Form: Nantes [W-W-W-L-D]; PSG [W-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

Sat 18/11/17 LI1 PSG 4 – 1 Nantes

Sat 21/01/17 LI1 Nantes 0 – 2 PSG

Sat 19/11/16 LI1 PSG 2 – 0 Nantes

Sat 14/05/16 LI1 PSG 4 – 0 Nantes

Sat 26/09/15 LI1 Nantes 1 – 4 PSG

Prediction: Nantes 1-1 PSG


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