Hello Mathematical7.com readers, we are taking another break from the regular leagues to enjoy a festival of international football. From Africa to Europe.
Match 1: Lesotho v Nigeria
Synopsis: The Super Eagles of Nigeria can make it two wins from two games with a victory at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru. Without a doubt, the Eagles are favourites in this group and must make their superiority count against a nation ranked 138 in the world by FIFA. The Crocodiles forced in a draw against Sierra Leone in Freetown but the gulf in quality should see Nigeria through.
Verdict: 3-1 (Nigeria to win)
Match 2: Tunisia v Libya
Synopsis: Tunisia face neighbours Libya in the opening game of Group J at the Rades stadium. The Carthage Eagles finished fourth in the last edition and will be motivated to qualify for the next. Under a new coach Mondher Kebaier, Tunisia will aim to continue their football dominance over Libya having won six of eight meetings.
Verdict: 2-0 (Tunisia to win)
Match 3: Madagascar v Ethiopia
Synopsis: Madagascar impressed at the last AFCON making it to the last eight on their debut and should be inspired by their run. The Bareas welcome struggling Walia ibex in a game the host will see a perfect opportunity to pick up 3 points in front of their passionate fans. Ethiopia is on a five-game winless run and is incapable of spoiling the party in Antananarivo.
Verdict: 2-0 (Madagascar to win)
Match 1: Russia v Belgium
Synopsis: Top position is at stake in Group I when Russia and Belgium face each other in Saint-Petersburg. The Russians are on a seven-game winning run in the qualifiers, but the Belgians have a perfect run of eight wins. The World Cup semi-finalists have dominated the group and will look to avoid defeat in Russia. Both teams will be motivated for this game, therefore, we can expect goals from both teams.
Verdict: 3-2 (Belgium to win)
Match 2: Northern Ireland v Netherlands
Synopsis: This game feels like a final, a win is mandatory for both teams at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland needs to bounce back from defeats to Germany and the Netherlands, are likely to fight tooth and nail against the Oranje. We do not believe Northern Ireland has the quality to beat the Netherlands. However, with Memphis Depay likely ruled out, this might just end in a draw.