John Obi Mikel - Captain of Nigeria national team

Madagascar vs Nigeria betting preview

Nigeria will be looking to keep their 100% record in Group B intact when they take on Madagascar at Alexandria Stadium on Sunday evening. Our Boys have already booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages, meaning that coach Gernot Rohr must warn them against complacency. The Barea have yet to secure their place in the last 16, meaning that they are likely to leave their hearts on the field against the Super Eagles.

Job done

Despite failing to impress in their AFCON opener against Burundi, Nigeria eventually picked up all three points from the match thanks to Odion Ighalo’s goal. To make things even better for the fans, the Super Eagles defeated Guinea in their second group game as well, with Kenneth Omeruo scoring the only goal of the match.

As a result, our Boys booked their place in the last 16, meaning that coach Gernot Rohr can breathe easier ahead of the last group game against Madagascar. The Super Eagles aim to extend their winning run at the showpiece tournament in Egypt, but there is every chance Gernot Rohr will use Sunday’s clash to rest several first-team regulars.

Time to rest

Considering that Nigeria have already secured a top-two finish in Group B, coach Gernot Rohr is likely to make changes to the starting line-up that faced Guinea at Alexandria Stadium. The likes of Osimhen, Troost-Ekong, Onyekuru, Ezenwa, Uzoho and Odu are all pushing for a start and there is every chance Odion Ighalo, who scored the winner against Burundi, will start from the bench this time out.

Experienced midfielder John Obi Mikel has lost his place in Nigeria’s starting XI after intervening in the bonus row between the Nigeria FA and the players. The former Chelsea man is unlikely to play against Madagascar, but Paul Ebere Onuachu should be recalled to the starting line-up. Alex Iwobi is undisputedly the team’s key player, but the Arsenal winger could be rested in Sunday’s encounter.

Rock-solid defence

Nigeria have been impressive at the back at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with the team keeping a clean sheet in each of their first two group matches. Seeing that the defensive partnership of Leon-Aderemi Balogun and Kenneth Josiah Omeruo has been in a perfect working order in the group stages, we are positive that the Super Eagles will rely on their rock-solid defence in their last group game.

Guinea had no more than three shots on target in the 1-0 loss to Nigeria, which is yet another reason why we believe Gernot Rohr’s men are capable of preventing Madagascar attackers from scoring in the Alexandria Stadium clash. You should bear in mind that Our Boys managed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last six games at the AFCON finals.

John Obi Mikel - Captain of Nigeria national team

John Obi Mikel – Captain of Nigeria national team – Vlad1988/Shutterstock.com

Lack of experience at major tournaments

Madagascar take part at the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time ever. The Barea players surely enjoy every single minute on the field at the tournament in Egypt, but the lack of experience at major tournaments could prove to be the biggest problem for Nicolas Dupuis’ troops in Sunday’s game against the Super Eagles. Madagascar are determined to record a good result on their debut at the AFCON, but they will have to be at their sharpest in the clash against Our Boys if they are to book their place in the last 16. One of the men to watch in Nicolas Dupuis’ team will be Charles Andriamatsinoro, who opened his goal-scoring account in a 2-2 draw with Guinea. Anyhow, the Barea, who are 200/1 at Betfair to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title, are unlikely to upset the Super Eagles at Alexandria Stadium.

Super Eagles do not suit Madagascar

Nigeria and Madagascar meet for the first time ever at the Africa Cup of Nations finals, but the two countries faced each other in the qualifiers for the 2012 tournament, with Super Eagles winning both fixtures by two goals to nil. When the two teams met in Calabar in 2010 Obafemi Martins and Michael Eneramo led Nigeria to the victory, with Joseph Jobo and Victor Obinna scoring for Our Boys in the reverse fixture. Considering that Nigeria have been impressive at the back at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, yet another low-scoring affair is on the cards.

Madagascar vs Nigeria Betting Tip

Considering that Madagascar have yet to score against Nigeria in a competitive match, we would not be surprised if the Super Eagles keep a clean sheet in their last group game at the 2019 AFCON. Coach Gernot Rohr is unlikely to field the best possible side against the Barea, which is probably the main reason why we believe that there is a big value in betting on under 2.5 goals. Our Boys would be happy with yet another hard-fought win in Group B and we predict that one goal is going to separate the two teams in Sunday’s match. It has to be noted that under 2.5 goals have been netted in seven of Nigeria’s previous eight games in all competitions.

Check out the odds for under 2.5 goals later today at Pinnacle.