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2019 AFCON QUALIFIERS: Supers Eagles target second consecutive win against Libya

 

Gernot Rohr’s men will take on the North Africans in October’s back-to-back duels as Nigeria take on Libya in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualification Group E match at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Saturday, October 13.
Nigeria must prove to be tactically better to claim good points against ‘tough’ Libya in the qualifier encounters.
Heading into the doubleheader, the north Africans top Group E log with four points from two games, while Super Eagles sit in the third position with three points from same number of matches.
Though, Gernot Rohr’s men have all it takes to subdue the table-toppers, not only in Uyo but over the two legs.
The Super Eagles thrashed Seychelles 3-0 in their previous 2019 AFCON qualifier away last month.
The win saw Nigeria return to winning ways having lost to Argentina, before facing Seychelles.
The West African giants will be eyeing their second successive victory against a stubborn Libya side.
Meanwhile, Libya held South Africa to a 0-0 draw in their previous 2019 AFCON qualifier away last month.
The draw extended the Meditteranean Knights’ winless run to three matches having recorded two defeats and one draw.
The North African side will be keen to return to winning ways against a much-fancied Nigeria side.
Here are the highlights of five Super Eagles players who have been in impressive form at their respective clubs in recent outings and are now expected to replicate such productive forms when Nigeria host Libya on Saturday.
No doubt, critics’ knives are still out for Odion Ighalo’s head following his uninspiring display for the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he has continued to impress for his Chinese club, Changchun Yatai.
Ighalo is unarguably Nigeria’s most prolific striker at the moment, having scored 20 goals in 25 league appearances for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Premier League so far this season.
The former Watford striker underlined his readiness to sink the Mediterranean Knights by grabbing a brace in his club’s 3-3 draw against John Mikel Obi’s Tiajin Teda last weekend.
Ahmed Musa has scored four goals in his last four appearances in all competitions for Saudi Arabia Professional League Club, Al Nassr.
The former Leicester City player scored all three goals in Al Nassr’s 3-0 win against Al-Qadisiyah in the third round of the Saudi Pro-League and was on target in the 5-1 win over Al Hazm last week.
He was recently named best player in the third round of the Saudi Professional League.
Musa who scored a sublime goal in the Super Eagles’ last game against Seychelles will lead the team against Libya following the absence of skipper of the side, John Mikel Obi.
Troost-Ekong is currently Nigeria’s most consistent defender playing in a top league in Europe. The centre-back has earned rave reviews for his impressive showing for Italian outfit, Udinese after linking up with the club from Turkish side, Bursaspor in the summer.
Troost-Ekong who missed Nigeria’s last 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against Seychelles as a result of injury has played every minutes of Udinese’s league games this season.
Though yet to earn a starting berth at English Premier League side, Watford, the former youth international looked re-born in the colours of the Hornets this season.
Success had been blighted by injuries and loss of form after linking up with the London club two seasons ago, but he has impressed this term.
He scored a superb goal for Javi Gracia’s men in Watford’s Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month and caused problems for Spurs defenders all through the game.
His goal against Tottenham was also nominated for Watford’s goal of the month award for September, but came second behind Andre Gray.
The 22-year-old winger is enjoying his football under new Arsenal manager, Unai Emery. Iwobi’s introduction in the Gunners’ penultimate Premier League game against Watford helped change things in favour of the North London club, and he was impressive in their 5-1 annihilation of Fulham last weekend.

Head-Head

Date           Match         Result     Score     Competition
11 Oct 2004   Libya v Nigeria   L     2-1     LG Cup
17 Aug 2005   Libya v Nigeria  W     0-1     International Friendly
19 Jan 2018   Libya v Nigeria  W     0-1     African Nations Cup

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