Statistical Preview: Can Zambia defeat Nigeria to keep World Cup hope alive?
Ahead of the make or break World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Zambia on Saturday, a lot has gone down already so I will just go straight to the point.
The Zambians tag it: “Game with God,” as only a win would keep their hopes of a first World Cup appearance alive.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on the other hand, are prepared to party hard at the end of 90 minutes tomorrow (as you can see from the pictures below).
Whether that is a sign of arrogance or over-confidence, it remains to be seen how the Zambians would respond to that as the media has been awash with these pictures. That said, players from both camps have done the talking and it’s only a matter of time now before the show down between both countries begin.
But before that, let’s take a look at the statistics (head-to-head and individual) of both countries. Shall we?
16 – The number of meeting between both teams. Nigeria has racked up six wins while Zambia have five wins with the remaining five encounters ending in a stalemate.
7 – The number of competitive wins between Nigeria and Zambia. The Super Eagles have been impressive in competitive games against the Zambians with 5 wins while Zambia has just two over Nigeria.
5 – The total number of World Cup appearances between these two and Nigeria has it all.
7 – The Super Eagles of Nigeria are on seven game unbeaten run against the Chipolopolo of Zambia. Can they make it 8 on Saturday? Time will tell.
4 – Nigeria have played four home games against Zambia without losing. Another unbeaten (home) run for Nigeria.
3 – Nigeria have never eliminated Zambia from a senior qualifying tournament after three meetings. The Zambians have had the upper hand here. Will they make it four? We wait…
Zambia have the widest win margin in encounters between both teams. They defeated Nigeria 5-1 in the 1974 AFCON qualifiers.
So, back to our question: “Can Zambia defeat Nigeria to keep their World Cup hopes alive?”