Nigeria will be looking to bounce back from their opening-game slip-up on Wednesday when they take on Ghana in Port Novo.
The Flying Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by Cote d’Ivoire in their first game of the WAFU B U20 Cup of Nations, ahead of this crucial second outing.
The story of Nigeria’s opening game wrote itself; the two-time FIFA U20 World Cup finalists were in control of the game with the Baby Elephants racing to a one goal lead before Ousmane Traore’s injury time equaliser.
This contest with Ghana looks to be Nigeria’s most difficult of the group stages on paper, and anything other than a victory could leave qualification for the last 4 out of their own hands.
Manager Ladan Bosso is understood to be considering a drastic change in the wake of the Cote d’Ivoire draw, though, switching up the team’s formation in an effort to pose more attacking threat from a squad which boasts the likes of Wisdom Ubani, Peter Olawale, Nenrot Silas and Chisom Orji alongside Liameed Quadri.
Nigeria need others to step up – Ubani has done it countless times in the past and Christopher Nwaeze headed the team in front against Cote d’Ivoire, but Nigeria have already discovered at this competition that a solid team performance can prove every bit as effective as sprinklings of stardust.
Ghana will have been just as encouraged as Cote d’Ivoire themselves by Nigeria’s slip-up, and victory over the Flying Eagles on Wednesday would seal their place in the last 4 with a game to spare.
Black Satellites coach Karim Zito named a strong squad for the tournament.
Coach Karim Zito side is dominated by players from the domestic top-flight division.
The biggest speculation surrounding the team news for Nigeria is that Bosso may switch from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-4-3 system.
The formation change could see starting places for Liameed Quadri and Temitayo Ereku.
Ghana, meanwhile, have a fit squad having been drawn bye on day 2 of the tournament.
Recent Head To Head
These two sides have met on two previous occasions in the last five years, with Nigeria winning 2-0 and 4-2 respectively.
We say: Ghana 0-1 Nigeria
Nigeria need to win if they are to keep qualification in their own hands, and we expect them to achieve it. Much depends on how they respond, and whether Bosso makes the rumoured changes, but they have the quality to take a vital three points from this game.