Nigeria to reach the semi-finals in good shape

2013 winners Nigeria take on the surprise package of South Africa in the second quarter-final of this years’ Africa Cup of Nations. A spirited performance saw the Super Eagles come from behind to beat holders Cameroon in their last match. Bafana Bafana pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament so far in knocking out hosts Egypt to reach the last eight, with Thembinkosi Lorch grabbing an 85th minute winner as they held on to secure a 1-0 victory.

Recent form

Nigeria are big favourites for this one and are the nation with a stronger heritage and history in international football and in the AFCON. They have made the last four in six of their last seven appearances in the competition however have never won by more than one goal in doing so. South Africa will look to be defensively resolute if they are to get a foothold in this tie, there has been less than 2.5 goals in 10 of their last 12 outings, so a low scoring affair could be another profitable market. They can be a bit erratic in their defending though and have been shown a red card twice in their last six meetings with Nigeria.

One omen in the favour of Bafana Bafana is the record of their gaffer, Stuart Baxter. The former Preston North End and Morecambe midfielder has a good record against his opposite number, Gernot Rohr, with one win and one draw. However Rohr is far more experienced in African football having previously been in charge of the likes of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso immediately prior to his role with the Super Eagles.

Ones to Watch

Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo is the joint-top scorer in the tournament with three, bagging a brace in the win over Cameroon. Now 30 years old he does not boast as much pace and power as in his Watford days but a threat all the same and with the creativity of Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa who he will partner upfront in this one, is likely to increase his tally today. One of the best central midfield pairings in the competition with also be on show with Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfried Ndidi two players capable of dictating the pace of the game but also fierce in the tackle and will be crucial in finding the feet of their attacking stars to make sure the Nigerians start on the front foot.

Nigeria will get past South Africa to progress to the semi-finals and without little trouble.

Nigeria – South Africa Betting Tip

Nigeria to Win with Coral at odds of 23/20.

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