Nigeria will host Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in the opening game of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. With Victor Osimhen sidelined after picking up an injury during the last international break, Jose Peseiro faces the dilemma of deciding who leads the attack.
Nigeria have dominated the meetings between both sides, as they currently enjoy a four-game winning streak over the visitors.
The three-time African champions will be keen to start their 2026 World Cup journey on a winning note, having missed out on Qatar last year when they lost to Ghana.
In addition, Jose Peseiro’s side will take this as final preparation for the African Cup of Nations that kicks off in January 2024, with several players looking to showcase why they should make the tournament squad.
Meanwhile, Lesotho are coming into this game off back-to-back defeats against Ivory Coast and Zambia.
Leslie Notsi’s side finished bottom of their AFCON qualifying group, picking up just one point from six games.
With three defeats in their last four games, the Crocodiles are in need of an inspirational result and will look to cause an unlikely upset against Nigeria.
Ranked 153rd in the FIFA World Rankings, Lesotho have never qualified for the AFCON or the World Cup and have won only two games in their last 22 World Cup qualifiers.
The biggest absentees for the Super Eagles are Ballon d'Or nominee Victor Osimhen and AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze.
Having impressed since his debut, Victor Boniface is expected to start alongside Taiwo Awoniyi up front for this game. However, there are other striking options, such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Terem Moffi, and Umar Sadiq, who can make a difference.
For Lesotho, Thabiso Brown is expected to lead the line in what will be a conservative set-up by Ntosi.
Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Bokang Sello, and Neo Mokhachane are also part of the Crododiles’s squad that made the trip to Uyo.
Nigeria vs Lesotho probable lineup
Nigeria: Uzoho; Aina, Bassey, Ajayi, Onyemaechi; Lookman, Iwobi, Onyeka, Iheanacho; Boniface, Awoniyi.
Lesotho: Moerane; Mkwanazi, Sello, Makepe, Malane; Lebokollane, Lesaoana, Mokhachane, Bereng, Sefali; Brown
Nigeria vs. Lesotho prediction
Nigeria 4-1 Lesotho
The Super Eagles are overwhelming favorites for this one, and anything short of a convincing victory will raise eyebrows. With the AFCON around the corner, they will see this as an opportunity to showcase their readiness for the tournament.