Nigeria will start as favorites when they face Sierra Leone in a first round 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations knockout match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, kick-off at 18h00 local Ghanaian time.
Known by the nickname ‘Super Eagles’, Nigeria will be making their fourth appearance at the WAFU Cup of Nations.
They were part of the eight-team field at the cancelled inaugural tournament in Ivory Coast before hosting the event twice in succession in 2010 and 2011, finishing as champions in the former and runners-up in the latter.
Known by the nickname ‘Leone Stars’, Sierra Leone will be appearing at their third WAFU tournament.
They were part of the eight-team field at the inaugural competition in Ivory Coast in 2002 which was cancelled due to the outbreak of civil war, while their second appearance was at the 2013 finals in Ghana where they finished bottom of their group.
Nigeria’s locally-based side come into this tournament having successfully secured qualification for the 2018 African Nations Championship with a 2-1 aggregate win over Benin last month, while Sierre Leone exited the same competition after losing 4-3 on aggregate to Senegal back in July.
Nigeria and Sierra Leone have met in 16 official international matches, according to FIFA’s statistical database. The Super Eagles have claimed 11 wins compared to just two for the Leone Stars, and outscored their opponents 30 goals to 10.
The winners of this match will occupy position 3 in Group 1 and face either Ghana or Gambia in their opening second round match.