Tuesday, February 28, 2012

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29.02. (Wed) 16:30 Rwanda - Nigeria

Rwanda national team



Tuyizere, Nshutiyamagara, Sibomana, Kalisa
Mafisango, Gasana, Mugiraneza, Niyonzima
Bokota, Karekezi

Taiwo, Idris, Yobo, Oboabona
Etuhu, Obi, Kaita
Musa, Yakubu, Odemwingie
Rwanda host this game in Kigali well aware of the strength of their opponents. Coach Milutin Sredojevich has spoken about the force of a wounded animal which the Super Eagles will bring into the game after failing to qualify for the recently-concluded 2012 Afcon, their first failure in 26 years.
Stephen Keshi has begun the rebuilding of a new Nigeria team since he took over the mantle from Samson Siasia in November 2011. Far from relying on an array of Europe-based players as was the case in the past, Keshi has rejuvenated the squad with players from the Nigeria Premier League who look to be hungry for glory.
He has, however, recalled big striker Ayegbeni Yakubu into his squad as well as previously out of favour midfielder Sani Kaita. Former England youth international Victor Moses is also expected to make his senior debut with the Super Eagles.
Nobody yet knows how this Nigeria squad is going to file out on the day because it is still an experimental side. Notwithstanding, Keshi is expected to go for glory and try to secure victory in front of the Rwandan fans.
The last Afcon has revealed that no team can be considered as small and insignificant, and Rwanda will be looking to surprise their more established counterparts. Sredojevich knows the strength of the Nigerian team and has admitted to following them closely under the tenure of Siasia. It will be interesting to see whether the Nigerians know enough about their opponents to be able to counter their home advantage on Wednesday evening.

  • Rwanda have only played against Nigeria twice at senior level. They drew the game in Kigali 1-1 but lost 2-0 in Abuja during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
  • Coach Milutin Sredojevic helped the Wasps through to the next round of World Cup 2014 qualifiers with victory over Eritrea.
  • Rwanda are presently ranked 26th in Africa and 108 in the world compared to their opponents who are eighth in Africa and 56th in the world.
  • Nigeria are in a rebuilding process under Stephen Keshi after failing to qualify for the 2012 Afcon.
  • This is Keshi's first competitive game in charge of the Super Eagles and it is expected to set the tone for his reign.
  • Striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu (pictured right) is the leading Nigerian goal scorer with 21 strikes in the colours of the national team.
Editor's Prediction 
Rwanda 1-2 Nigeria