(Sporting Alert) — Nigeria will be looking to secure all three points against defending champions Zambia in their Group C clash in the African Nations Cup on Friday at Mbombela Stadium.
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Date: Friday 25 January Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: TV coverage on Eurosport and ITV
Nigeria took a first half lead through Emmanuel Emenike, but was forced to share the points with Burkina Faso after Alain Traore found a late equalizer, following the sending off of Efetobore Ambrose in the second half for a double bookable offences on Monday.
The powerhouses were strong favourites to win the game and get their Africa Cup of Nations campaign off to a winning start, but were left frustrated.
Nigeria’s football supporters were also very disappointed, but the team’s captain Joseph Yobo promised the team would make a positive response.
“We were disappointed after the first game, it wasn’t easy to accept that setback, but that’s behind us now,” he said.
“Now we have the defending champions in front of us, it’s going to be very tough. We’ve got to concentrate right till the end, and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.
“We believe we can beat Zambia, it’s all about getting points now, we can’t afford to lose.”
Zambia also drew its opening game 1-1 with Ethiopia, but could have suffered a defeat after Saladin Said missed a first half penalty before Collins Mbesuma gave Zambia the lead just before half-time.
Adane Girma eventually grabbed the 10-man Ethiopians equalizer in the second half.
TEAM NEWS AND STARTING LINE UPS…
Chelsea striker Victor Moses, as expected, was named in the Nigeria starting lineup after he recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him miss Monday’s game. Another Chelsea player, Mikel John Obi also starts, but veteran defender Joseph Yobo missed out after starting against Burkina Faso.
Zambia, coach Herve Renard in the meantime, made two adjustments to his side from the last outing with Emmanuel Mbola and Emmanuel Mayuka both starting. Hichani Himoonde and Collins Mbesuma make way.
QUICK FACTS, TIPS
Zambia are seen at 12/5 to beat Nigeria today according to Sky Bet.
Zambia v Nigeria
Zambia: Mweene, Mbola, Sunzu, Musonda, Nkausa, Sinkala, Chansa, Kalaba, Lungu, Mayuka, Christopher Katongo
Subs: Munyao, Kasonde, Himoonda, Jacob Mulenga, Mbesuma, Felix Katongo, Chamanga, Chivuta, Njovu, Sakuwaha, Mukuka Mulenga
Nigeria: Enyeama, Omeruo, Oboabona, Echiejile, Mikel, Onazi, Ogude, Igiebor, Musa, Emenike, Moses
Subs: Ejide, Yobo, Obiorah, Egwueke, Ideye, Gabriel, Uche, Uzoenyi, Mba, Oshaniwa, Agbim
Referee: Gehad Grisha (Egypt)