June 9, 2012 6:00 PM IST
Kamuzu Stadium — Blantyre
Referee: R. Seechurn
Malawi – Nigeria Preview: Flames tackle Super Eagles in Blantyre
With three points accrued from the 1-0 win over Namibia, the Super Eagles will hope to consolidate first place in the group with a positive result in Blantyre
Kayira, Namwela, Sangala, Mzava
Chavula, Banda, Kamwendo
Nyondo, Mwafulirwa, Ngalande
Efe, Oboabona, Egwueke, Echiejile
Lawal, Obiorah, Gabriel, Uzoenyi
I. Uche, Moses
Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri has said that the Super Eagles will have their wings clipped on Saturday in Blantyre. That being said, it is now left for the Nigerians to show that talking has to be done on the pitch.
Against Namibia last Sunday, the Eagles created numerous chances but could not score more than the one goal which was enough to claim all three points. But against a very young and mobile Flames side led by Russel Mwafulirwa, the Eagles will have to increase their conversion rate if they are to get the desired result – a win.
The Malawian Flames are definitely buoyed by their credible 0-0 result achieved in Nairobi last week and match reports said that they dominated the bigger Kenyans, so a stronger physique is not the solution for their plan.
“These boys may look small, but they are very intelligent and very fit and no team can play around with them,” Phiri said after their draw against Kenya. “We have upset Egypt, DR Congo and Guinea at home – so Nigeria can be another victim.”
The Eagles must be patient and make sure that in the last third, the speed of passing must substantially increase. And as Malawi are at home, the possibility is that they will be offensive and that will allow the Eagles more space even though Stephen Keshi will likely be more conservative by resting one of the strikers used against Namibia and replace them with a midfielder which could be Raheem Lawal.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Malawi have never qualified for the World Cup finals.
- In six matches between Nigeria and Malawi, the Eagles have five wins and one draw.
- Russel Mwafulirwa will be hoping to score his 10th international goal against Nigeria.
- Malawi’s Peter Mponda has 71 caps for the Flames.
- Nigeria moved up three places to 60th in the Fifa rankings with the win over Namibia.
- Malawi won a bronze medal at the 1987 All-Africa Games.
- Nigeria have scored 17 goals against Malawi and conceded 7.
- If John Utaka scores in the game, it will be his second strike in Blantyre.