2026 WCQ Zimbabwe v Nigeria: Match preview, what to expect, team news, key players, kickoff time

Published: November 18, 2023
2026 WCQ Zimbabwe v Nigeria: Match preview, what to expect, team news, key players, kickoff time

The Super Eagles will face Zimbabwe in their second 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Sunday afternoon.


Both sides failed to win their first game against Lesotho and Rwanda respectively and will be desperate to record their first victory in the qualification series.


Match preview 

The two nations have clashed seven times with Nigeria boasting a superior head-to-head record having won four, drawn 2 and lost once.


The West Africans are the heavy favourite heading into the clash not only because of their better head-to-head record but also because of the quality they have in their side as compared to their South African counterparts.



What to expect

The Super Eagles are expected to dominate the game like they have always done against inferior oppositions like Zimbabwe.


While it is uncertain if José Peseiro will stick with his traditional 4-4-2, Nigeria will tend to stretch the Warriors' defence with the pace and trickery of the wingers.

For Zimbabwe, they must have taken a cue from Lesotho, so it is expected they will defend in numbers, hit on the counter and exploit Super Eagles' set piece weaknesses.


Team news


Nigeria will have to make do with Taiwo Awoniyi who would have been one of their difference makers going into the game while Luton-owned forward Admiral Muskwe who started the Warriors' barren draw against Rwanda could also miss out


Key players


1. Kelechi Iheanacho: The Leicester City forward got the assist that led to the Super Eagles' goal against Lesotho and is one of the players to be relied upon for the three-time African giants.


2. Moses Simon: The Nantes forward was an impact substitute in the last game and in contenton to start against the Warriors.


The 28-year-old has 2 goals and one assist in the last five games for Nigeria and will be one of the creative sparks for Peseiro's side.


3. Marvelous Nakamba: The Luton midfielder has made the 4th most tackles in the Premier League this season and his reading of the game will be vital for Zimbabwe in stopping the rhythm of Nigeria.


4. Marshall Munetsi: The Reims midfielder has been in scintillating form in the Ligue 1 this season, registering 2 goals and four assists.


While he has just one goal so far for his country, he is surely a player the Super Eagles must keep an eye on.


Venue and kickoff time


The match will be staged at the Huye Stadium in Rwanda and is expected to start 1400 hours Nigerian time.



Abdulkareem Abdulhamid




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