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Nigeria vs South Africa: FanBants Fantasy Preview


Lookman leads the line: FanBants expert reveals top fantasy picks for Nigeria vs South Africa clash


The Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, hosts the all-important 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Join us as we assess the top players to pick for the matchday 3 action and recap the highlights of a not-so-great qualifying campaign from both teams so far.


Performances Leading to Uyo

Let's reassess what transpired in the heart of the group stage for both teams, who were semi-finalists at the last Africa Cup of Nations in February.

Nigeria

The Super Eagles started their journey to the North America World Cup edition in an underwhelming fashion, remaining winless in Group C. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home in Uyo by Lesotho before travelling to Butare, Rwanda, to face Zimbabwe on a neutral venue, playing to the same result, having had to come back from behind to earn a point in both games.

South Africa

Looking to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since hosting in 2010, Bafana Bafana began with a 2-1 win over Benin in Durban to top the group on matchday 1. They travelled to Butare three days later and lost 2-0 to Rwanda, dropping to second place.

Both teams appeared to have improved afterwards, losing only one competitive game in regulation time since then, all of which were in AFCON 2023. Finidi’s men lost 2-1 to Côte d'Ivoire in the final under the guidance of José Peseiro, while Hugo Broos’ team’s only loss came in their Group E opener against Mali. They went on to finish third through a penalty shootout.

Top Picks: Which player do I pick for the game?

Our in-house fantasy expert picks out the most appealing assets of the game, done on a budget of £100m.

If you’re new to the game or need reminding of the rules, check out our ‘how to play’ guide here.


Goalkeepers

The expectation is that both teams will score on the night, so selecting South Africa's Ronwen Williams (£8.5) could be the best play. His excellent shot-stopping has translated into points on multiple occasions, particularly during the African Cup of Nations where he was awarded goalkeeper of the tournament.

The price is the same as Maduka Okoye (£8.5), who is yet to play for the Super Eagles since 2022. He arrived at the team's camp less than 48 hours before the game and will probably be an unused substitute. If there are doubts that Williams will fail to pick up a significant return, then Stanley Nwabali (£9) might be Friday's best option. Nigeria are at home – on a turf where they have lost only one competitive game since it was opened 10 years ago. Nwabali is also widely regarded as one of Africa's best goalkeepers after his breakthrough in AFCON 2023. He is capable of save points and maybe even a Player of the Match award.

Defenders

Clean sheets could be scarce in this match, but let’s get coverage from each defence. Nigeria's offensive threat can frustrate any team in the world even without the African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen. If they manage that, we could look to Calvin Bassey (£6.5) and Semi Ajayi (£6). Not only are they the safest defensive options in terms of game time, but they also enjoy advancing forward. The latter scored Nigeria's only goal the last time they played here.

South Africa's Audrey Modiba will be the third and last defensive pick. Bafana Bafana have kept five clean sheets in their last seven competitive games, and he started all of them, attempting the most tackles per game (3.3) among his teammates. He is the most capped (29) and highest-scoring (3) defender in South Africa's squad, so his consistency, experience, and offensive ability to play as a wing-back will not be ignored by Broos.

Midfielders

Mamelodi Sundowns may not have won this season's CAF Champions League, but that doesn't mean they are not arguably the strongest team on the continent. Their team's forte was the midfield, led by Teboho Mokoena (£6.5), who played 7 out of their 10 matches in the premier continental showpiece.

For the Brazilians in the Champions League, he ranked first in shots per game (2.6), accurate passes per game (66.7), accurate long balls per game (3.7), and second in interceptions per game (1.1) and tackles per game (1.7).

Compared to their West African rivals, the Southerners will have much more of the ball here, which also benefits him and his fellow Sundowns teammate, Thapelo Morena (£6.5), who played 6 of 7 games for South Africa in Côte d'Ivoire.

Though there is no lack of appealing midfield options remaining to pick, we’ll look to Brentford's Frank Onyeka (£6.5) and Fulham's Alex Iwobi (£7). While both have not really excelled for their respective clubs in the Premier League, the latter was crucial to the Super Eagles' success in AFCON 2023.

Iwobi's inclusion can be justified by him being Nigeria's best attacking threat from the midfield. However, the return of Wilfred Ndidi (£6.5) after missing AFCON 2023 through injury could mean Finidi will start him as he's also the team's captain, but we will omit him from our team.

While Samuel Chukwueze (£9) is the most offensive and expensive player available for midfield options, the AC Milan winger missed the Super Eagles' last training session on Thursday and Finidi confirmed in his pre-match conference that he had a knock. So his fitness might cast doubt on splashing a whopping £9 on him.

Forwards

Regardless of his opposition, Ademola Lookman (£10) should be a shoo-in for FanBants Fantasy managers. A whopping 50+ goal contributions make him one of this season’s most successful strikers in Europe. He is outrightly the most reliable pick for this encounter, where he hopes to further his stance as the best player on the continent.

Lookman, who became only the sixth man in history to score a hat-trick in a European competition final when he led Atalanta to victory in Dublin on 22nd May, is in great form to continue where he left off after the Africa Cup of Nations, where he netted three crucial goals to steer Nigeria to a second-place finish. He also netted an important winner for the Super Eagles against Ghana in a friendly in Morocco three months ago, which helped Nigeria to their first triumph over Ghana in 18 years.

Elsewhere, Victor Boniface (£10) also had a marvellous season, winning the German League and Cup double with Bayer Leverkusen and reaching the Europa Cup final, where Lookman was the big obstacle.

Not many defenders in world football can stop the pace, power, and precision of Boniface. Albeit, his appearances were limited throughout the season due to injury, having had to play 34 out of 53 games for Leverkusen, he scored in his last three matches in the Bundesliga – another example of his prolific ability.

Although away from home, South Africa should not be underestimated as Nigeria have not kept a clean sheet against them in the last six matches. They scored four goals in their last two matches where Themba Zwane (£7.5) was instrumental. Going without him could be hugely damaging to a manager’s rank and mini-classic league position, as this is someone who capped a fine AFCON 2023 performance with a brace against Algeria in the 2024 FIFA Series during the last international window in March. Nigeria vs South Africa Contests and Prizes

Entry for the Nigeria vs South Africa FanBants Mini Classic costs N200, with a total prize pool of N20,000 shared among the top 10 participants. The first position wins N10,000, the second position wins N3,000, the third wins N2,000, the fourth receives N1,500, and the fifth takes home N1,000. Positions sixth to tenth each receive N500.


Users can submit multiple entries, up to five times, for this match’s Mini Classic game and this contest is one of many available for the match as users can also participate in the Free Daily and Free Daily Newbie contests, which are available at no cost, with a total prize pool of N5,000.


In addition to this, the Rookie Classic and Shootout contests are also available for the match, with entry fees as low as N100 for both, offering prizes of N5,000 and N1,000, respectively.

Unlike other fantasy platforms that limit users to one competition, FanBants allows users to enjoy fantasy football across various ongoing international friendly games and the Euros during the off-season. During the regular season, users can participate in competitions involving the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Nigeria Premier Football League, Serie A, etc.


Sign up now on FanBants. to win weekly prizes and bragging rights. For a smoother experience, download the official FanBants app.


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