This will be the 14th meeting between Nigeria and Sierra Leone since the countries first clashed in 1961 in an international friendly match, which ended 4-2 in favour of the Nigerians.
Since that meeting, the Super Eagles have scored 29 goals in 13 matches, the Sierra Leoneans have scored 11. That is an average of at least two goals scored by the Eagles in every encounter but it is worthy to note that the two victories the Leone Stars have achieved over the Eagles – in 1987 and in 2001 were matches in which the Eagles failed to score.
Apart from sharing the same pitch 13 times, the two countries can be said to operate in completely different football universes. The Eagles’ current squad is worth $292 million, according to the transfer market website, while their West African neighbours have a squad that is worth just about $8.7million.
Mustapha Bundu, a right Winger, playing for Belgian side, Anderlecht, is worth $3.5 million while the Eagles possess the costliest player in the 2020 summer transfer window at $83 million, Victor Osimhen, though his current worth is put at $59 million.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are ranked 32 in the world by FIFA while the Leone Stars are miles away at 120 and that tells the neutrals all they need to know even though it must be added that football can be crazy at times and can gazump any prediction at the least expected times.
In the lead up to the first leg of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Cup tournament and COVID-19-impacted preparations, Gernot Rohr stated the team would only have two days for real training – Wednesday and Thursday, and he hoped that the grass at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City would hold up for Friday’s encounter.