AfricanFootball takes a closer look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today we focus on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.
Where and when are the games?
Saturday 7 October
Nigeria v Zambia – Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo – 18h00 CAT
Cameroon v Algeria – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – 18h00 CAT
Who needs what to qualify?
Nigeria hold a three-point advantage over Zambia at the head of the group and will secure qualification if they beat Chipolopolo in Uyo on Saturday. A draw puts them on the cusp of qualification because they have a much better goal difference than the Southern Africans, but it wouldn’t quite guarantee their place in Russia.
What’s likely to happen?
Given that Nigeria have comprehensively outplayed Algeria and Cameroon in their two home matches – and beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola a year ago – it’s hard to see any other outcome than a win for the Super Eagles.
If Gernot Rohr’s team do indeed go on to beat Zambia, they will be the first African team to book their place at the 2018 tournament and it will be their sixth appearance at the World Cup finals overall.
For Chipolopolo, an unlikely victory would bring them right back into contention to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, but they would then still need to better Nigeria’s result in the final round next month when the teams face Cameroon and Algeria respectively.