Big Game Focus: Nigeria v South Africa


Nigeria and South Africa both recorded impressive victories over Cameroon and Egypt to secure a place in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. These two former winners have been solid but unspectacular. Who will book a place in the semis? Here’s the Big Game Focus with some betting tips. Bet on AFCON here. 

Nigeria, the 2013 winners, bounced back to winning ways after that embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Madagascar by beating reigning champions Cameroon 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. With better overall quality than Bafana Bafana, the often scrutinised Super Eagles are expected to go all the way given their miserable failure to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions.

Bafana Bafana are another team who have always been in the spotlight for good and bad reasons. However, their last match, which was a hard-fought 1-0 win over hosts and record seven-time champions Egypt, saw them receive praise from all quarters. It was a win that had the heart, passion and discipline. Stuart Baxter’s men have only beaten Nigeria once competitively. They shocked the Pharaohs, but can they repeat the same against the Super Eagles?

Betting preview

South Africa have beaten the Super Eagles just once competitively. Nigeria have won three of their last five matches. Therefore, you can back a Nigeria Win at odds of 1.88. 

All but one of Nigeria’s last six matches have seen two or fewer goals. Bafana Bafana’s last seven matches have seen Under 2.5 Goals. Therefore, you can back Under 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.34. 

All goals in South Africa’s matches have come in the second half. All four of Nigeria’s matches in the tournament have seen goals in the second half. The Super Eagles first two matches saw goals in the last twenty minutes while the next two saw goals in the second half. Nigeria also scored twice in the second half against Cameroon in the last 16. Therefore, you can back Second Half with Most Goals at odds of 2.26. 

Team news

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr is expected to start the same XI that beat Cameroon 3-2 in the thrilling last-16 contest. Right-back Chidozie Awaziem is a booking away from suspension.

Baxter is not expected to make any changes to the team that shocked Egypt 1-0 in the round of 16.

Possible line-ups

Nigeria: Akpeyi, Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Aina, Etebo, Ndidi, Simon, Iwobi, Musa, Ighalo

South Africa: Williams, Mkhize, Mkhwanazi, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Zungu, Furman, Mokotjo, Lorch, Mothiba, Tau