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Portugal vs Nigeria: The stats you MUST know as Super Eagles look to ruin farewell party for Ronaldo, others

November 17th 2022, 6:21:05 am

Super Eagles arent going to Qatar, but you could win some cash with this quick look at some of the key numbers for this intriguing game against Portugal.

Joe Aribo (R) with Nigeria teammate Taiwo Awoniyi before the Super Eagles' Africa Cup of Nations game against Sudan

Nigeria's Super Eagles are the guests later tonight at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon for an international friendly against Portugal.

The host will wrap up preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with this encounter against our dear Super Eagles.

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Of course, it's not news anymore that the Super Eagles will not be a part of the global football festival in Qatar but Nigeria is looking to ruin the farewell party for Portugal and their fans.

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Before the game, slated for 7:45 pm Nigerian time as reported by Pulse Sports Nigeria, let's run through some interesting stats for this match with the potential to be pulsating.

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The Portuguese seem to be a first-half team given a 66% win rate in their matches, whether Cristiano Ronaldo, who is set to miss this one, plays or not.

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Interestingly, in their last two victories, Portugal scored a goal in the 33rd minute en route to a 6-0 aggregate win over the Czech Republic in the UEFA Nations League.

On the other hand, Nigeria seems to struggle in the opening 45 minutes. The Super Eagles only manage a 33% win rate in the first half of their matches.

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Therefore, Portugal has a 62% chance of being home and dry by halftime when both teams begin to clash. The Eagles have to be careful in Libson tonight.

According to the numbers, Nigeria must avoid going behind first in this game if they are to stand a chance of getting something positive from the game.

Portugal doesn't know how to lose when they score first, with a 100% win rate.

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For Nigeria, there is a 66% chance that the Super Eagles can indeed ruin the party tonight if they can score first in Libson.

Over to Jose Peseiro and his boys!

Now, it gets interesting here. Should the Super Eagles of Nigeria take a shock lead tonight, it says Portugal's chances of winning drop drastically.

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The Portuguese have an interesting 0% chance of winning when they concede first at home.

For Nigeria, when they play away from Nigeria and find themselves down 1-0, the Super Eagles have a 0% chance of winning that game.

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God abeg oo!

The World Cup-bound Portugal is of course the better team heading into this game in terms of form.

Fernando Santos' side has lost just two of their last eight matches, though those two defeats have come in the last five games.

They are looking to bounce back to winning ways after a painful 0-1 defeat to Spain the last time they played at home in the Nations League.

Nigeria's form is nothing to write home about ahead of this game. The Super Eagles have lost three of the last five matches, two of them back-to-back.

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In effect, both countries head into the game later today hoping to put an end to their losing run, with both sides hoping to finally score some goals, too.

Talking about goals brings us to the final part of this piece.

It does seem these two nations know a thing or two about football being about entertainment. It could be a goal-fest when they step to that pitch tonight.

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The home side scores an average of 2.2 goals per game when they play in front of their home supporters.

And for Nigeria, I am glad to inform you that the Super Eagles are entertainers away from home, with an average of 2 goals per game when they are the visitors.

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While the numbers favour the home team, I would love to see the Super Eagles go for a kill by taking advantage of the possibility that the Portuguese players would love to play safe to avoid injuries.

In terms of extra motivation, Nigeria's coach, Jose Peseiro, is facing his home country and that should be enough to see the Eagles play for more than pride and serve an entertaining and winning performance.

Portugal is the favourite, but Nigeria can ruin this farewell party for the host.

Prediction: Portugal 2-2 Nigeria

Izuchukwu Akawor
Izuchukwu is an economist in love with football, photography, humour and social media.

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