South Africa v Nigeria: Five duels that will determine result

Super Eagles of Nigeria
Super Eagles of Nigeria (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Both countries are missing some key players for this encounter but there are still enough talents on both sides to influence the result for both sides. PREMIUM TIMES looks at five duels that will determine the outcome on Saturday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

One of the missing Bafana Bafana players is Keagan Dolly, but he advised his mates on how they can repeat the win over Nigeria. “It’s important that we pay no mind to their so-called ‘big’ players and believe in our own quality, which is fully capable of coming out on top,” Dolly told Kickoff.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to who wants it more and who is willing to fight until thevery end.

“I just want to wish the team the best of luck and remind them that they should remember that they are not only going out there for themselves but for the whole of South Africa – do us proud, boys!”

Lebo Mothiba v Kenneth Omeruo

I expect Omeruo to come in for Brighton’s Leon Balogun but whoever Gernot Rohr chooses will have their hands full with Mothiba, who has scored six goals for Strasbourg in 10 league games. Mothiba is strong and pacey, which could determine the identity of who Rohr will choose to start on Saturday.

Percy Tau v Jamilu Collins

Tau came off the bench in the first encounter in Uyo last year to score the backbreaking second goal but his form has not been top-notch since his loan move from Brighton to Royal Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium’s second division.

Collins is new on the international scene and was almost found out against Libya last month and he will have to be concentrated 100 per cent to keep track of an elusive Tau.

Teboho Mokoena v John Ogu

With just three full seasons in the PSL, Mokoena has grown into a midfielder capable of dominating the centre but he will be up against a clearly passionate Nigerian in Ogu, who will be hoping to cement a place in the Eagles’ midfield in the absence of first choice, Wilfred Ndidi.

While Ogu may be slow, he is rugged and experienced enough to make this battle a Nigerian win with his ability for long-range shots.

Thulani Serero v Alex Iwobi

Serero has battled injuries in the lead up to this encounter but Stuart Baxter’s technical team will be doing all they can to get the Vitesse man into the FNB pitch but he will have his work cut out if Iwobi brings his ‘A’ game to South Africa. With the ability to pick a pass and ghost past defenders, Iwobi will be the major offensive threat to the Bafana Bafana.

Ramahlwe Mphahlele v Kelechi Iheanacho

Iheanacho’s last goal for Nigeria was 14 months ago, and he is not firing on all cylinders in the EPL for Leicester. His task of scoring on Saturday will not be made any easier by the presence of Bafana captain, Mphahlele, who gives no quarter. Iheanacho must be ready for some physical buffeting by using his intelligence to get the better of his marker.

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