Former Racing de Santander and Real Sociedad midfielder Mutiu Adepoju has tipped Nigeria to beat Ghana during the FIFA World Cup playoffs in March and book their spot at Qatar 2022.
The Super Eagles were, on Saturday, drawn to play against the Black Stars in the final round of the African Qualifiers for the Mundial.
Nigeria and Ghana boast two of Africa’s most successful national teams, with seven Africa Cup of Nations titles between them.
With a rich football rivalry dating back to the 1950s, the clash between the two West African giants promises to be the most anticipated tie of the continent’s final qualifying round.
Ghana hold the head-to-head advantage in the 49 meetings (no other country has played Nigeria more) between the two titans, winning 21 matches (no other team has defeated the Eagles more) and losing just ten.
The Eagles and the Stars have faced each other in eight World Cup qualifying matches, claiming two wins apiece and four draws.
In the most recent qualifying clashes for the Korea/Japan 2002, Nigeria held Ghana to a goalless draw in Accra in March 2001 before thrashing the Black Stars 3-0 at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, four months later.
On current form, the Super Eagles, the fifth best-ranked team on the continent, have the edge with seven victories in their last ten matches across all competitions. That decent run includes three wins at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations before the Eagles were bundled out by Tunisia in the Round of 16 on Sunday.
Ghana did not manage a single win before they exited the championship at the group stage.
Ex-international Adepoju saw the best of the Ghanaians in Cameroon, with evidence that they do not possess the quality of the great Black Stars team of old.
And the 1994 Afcon-winning midfielder is expecting the Super Eagles to outclass their eternal rivals and pick one of Africa’s five World Cup tickets when they square up in March.
On his Twitter account, Adepoju wrote: “Of course, the rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria have been a fierce one, but there is nothing to be worried about because I see the Super Eagles qualifying for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
Of course, the rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria have been a fierce one, but there is nothing to be worried about because I see the Super Eagles qualifying for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.— Mutiu Adepoju (@MutiuAdepoju8) January 22, 2022
Ghana have only made three FIFA World Cup appearances, while Nigeria have their eyes set on a 7th appearance in the competition.
The play-off games will be played between 24-29 March, 2022.