Nigeria’s national men’s team, the Super Eagles have since lose their invincibility on the African continent and are no longer seen like giants as they previously used to be.
Struggling against teams like Swaziland in the preliminary stage and failing to be among the top seeds for Friday’s draw are all pointers to the falling stock of Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
As we patiently await the final outcome of the draws , 366football.com look at 5 teams from the 20 in pot capable of hurting Nigeria’s World Cup qualification bid.
Presently the highest ranked team in Africa, the Desert Foxes can end up in the same group like Nigeria.
Algeria have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on four occasions in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014 and going by the present form of the North Africans as displayed in the AFCON qualifiers, it will be hard betting against them making it Russia.
Algeria qualified for the first time into the round of 16 in Brazil, it will be good to see how Nigeria can beat them to a place in Russia with the likes of Hilal El Arbi Soudani firing on all cylinders.
Cote d’Ivoire: After a long wait, the Elephants finally debuted at the World Cup in 2006 in Germany, coincidentally Nigeria failed to qualify for same; losing out to Angola. Since breaking the jinx, the Ivorians have made consistent show; first in South Africa and then Brazil.
Senegal: The Teranga Lions took the world by storm in 2002 where they made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup in their maiden and so far solitary appearance at the World Cup. At the moment in the AFCON qualifiers, Senegal has a perfect record; winning all their five games.
Cameroon: Gradually getting back in their strides, Cameroon are in Pot 3 going into the World cup draw. The low ranking does not translate to weakness in the Indomitable Lions who are among Africa’s best performers in the World Cup
Ghana: The Black Stars are always a banana peel for Nigeria, and after an uneventful show in Brazil clouded by bonus controversies, Ghana will be keen to make it Russia.
The Coach Avan Garnt tutored side are unbeaten in the AFCON qualifiers and enjoy a youthful side capable of hurting any team on the continent on their day.