Salah and Mane to face off for place at 2022 World Cup


nd Mane to face off for place at 2022 World Cup
Five matches will take place at the end of March to decide which of the African nations play at the World Cup, with the winners of each game earning a place on the plane to Qatar. The ties will take place over two legs from March 24-29.

Mali, who face Tunisia, are the only team who have never qualified for the World Cup, whilst Nigeria and Ghana will meet again following their Africa Cup of Nations clash earlier this week.

Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen rings changes to his starting XI. There are major adjustments at the back, midfield and significant changes in attack.

Super Eagles fans and local media demanded for tactical changes and a lot of them will applaud the decision to make five changes to the line-up.

Leicester City winger Ademola Lookman makes his first start for the Super Eagles.

Ghana head coach Otto Addo goes with an unchanged XI.

Nigeria XI: Uzoho, Aina, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Bassey, Onyeka, Etebo, Aribo, Dennis, Lookman, Osimhen.

Ghana XI: Wollacott, Odoi, Mensah, Amartey, Djiko, Partey, Iddrisu Baba, Kudus, J Ayew, Fatawu Issahaku, Afena-Gyan.

Little to separate West African heavyweights
Nigeria v Ghana (0-0 agg) (17:00 GMT)

This West African heavyweight match up was the only play-off game to end goalless on Friday, and more than bragging rights are up for grabs in the ‘Jollof derby’.

Both sides had chances to win the game in Kumasi, with both goalkeepers pulling off good saves as the first leg ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

The Super Eagles thought they earned a penalty before the referee went to the VAR monitor and overturned his original decision.

With away goals rule in place, any score draw will send Ghana through to Qatar. Should there be another goalless draw in Abuja, the game will head to extra time and penalties if required.

Nigeria are bidding for a fourth successive World Cup appearance, while Ghana missed out on Russia 2018.

African champions Senegal must win against Egypt at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium in Diamniadio to have a chance to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

The Lions of Teranga head into the game seeking to overturn their deficit after falling to a slender 1-0 defeat when the sides went head-to-head in Cairo last Friday.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was at the heart of the action when his shot deflected in off Saliou Ciss in the opening four minutes, which was enough to separate the sides.

Only a 1-0 win for Sadio Mane and his Senegal team-mates would force extra-time and penalties, having won a shoot-out in the Nations Cup final against the Pharaohs at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde last month.

Victory by a two-goal margin will see the West Africans safely though.

However, Senegal will feel confident of overturning their one-goal deficit as they return home in their new stadium

Team news
Senegal v Egypt (0-1 agg) (17:00 GMT)

Senegal boss Aliou Cisse makes four changes in a bid to turn this tie around.

Pa Abdou Cisse, Youssouf Sabaly, Ismaila Sarr and Boulaye Dia all come into the starting line-up.

Egypt make two changes at the back, with Yasser Ibrahim and Rami Rabia coming into defence.

The injured Mohamed Abdelmonem and the suspended Mahmoud Hamdy drop out.

Senegal XI: E Mendy, B Sarr, Cisse, Koulibaly (capt), Ciss, Sabaly, N Mendy, Gana Gueye, I Sarr, Mane, Dia.

Egypt XI: El Shenawy, Gaber, Rabia, Ibrahim, Fetouh, Elneny, El Soleya, Fathi, Marmoush, Trezeguet, Salah (capt).

Senegal fans are certainly flocking to the stadium to support their team, with BBC Sport Africa’s Babacar Diarra reporting long queues outside the ground over two hours before kick-off.

Senegal are looking to turn around a first-leg deficit in a re-match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final.

The West Africans lifted the continental silverware for the first time after beating Egypt on penalties in Cameroon last month, but could miss out on the World Cup after Saliou Ciss’ own goal in the first leg.

This match is being played at the brand-spanking-new Abdoulaye Wade Stadium.

The 50,000-seater in Diamniadio was opened to great fanfare a month ago.

Can the Teranga Lions fans immediately make it an intimidating atmosphere for Egypt?