Seeking to pick up a sixth consecutive win across all competitions, Algeria lock horns with Nigeria in a thrilling friendly at the Miloud Hadefi Olympic Complex on Tuesday at 8pm Nigerian time.
The Super Eagles, on the other hand, will head into the midweek clash desperate to get one over their North African counterparts, having lost each of the last three meetings between the sides since 2016.
Algeria have picked up the pieces since their World Cup qualifying heartbreak back in March, when they were beaten on away goal rule by Cameroon following a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Having claimed a 1-0 away win on March 25, Cameroon’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored 22 minutes into the second leg four days later to force extra time, before Karl Toko Ekambi netted in the 124th minute to cancel out Ahmed Touba’s 111st-minute strike and hand the Indomitable Lions a dramatic win.
Since then, the Greens have won each of their six outings, including consecutive victories over Uganda and Tanzania in Group F of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, where they currently sit top of the group table with a four-point cushion over second-placed Niger.
Djamel Belmadi’s side head into Tuesday’s contest fresh off the back of a 1-0 friendly victory over Guinea when the sides locked horns at the Miloud Hadefi Olympic Complex last weekend.
With nothing to separate both sides heading into the final 10 minutes of the game, Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez teed up Islam Slimani, who tucked home the only goal of the game hand Algeria a slender victory and see off the Syli National.
Nigeria, on the other hand, failed to secure their place in the 2022 Africa Nations Championship as they were beaten on penalties by Ghana on September 3, following a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Having lost 2-0 in Cape Coast Stadium on August 28, Jose Peseiro’s men returned to the MKO Abiola National Stadium six days later where they claimed a 2-0 victory over the Black Stars before losing 5-4 on penalties.
Prior to that, Nigeria had picked up two wins from two in Group A of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, seeing off Sierra Leone 2-1 on June 9 before claiming an emphatic 10-0 victory over Sao Tome and Principe four days later.
The Super Eagles, who also failed to secure their place in Qatar after they were beaten by Ghana on the away goal rule in March, head into Tuesday winless in six of their last nine games across all competitions, losing four and picking up two draws in that time.
Next up for Nigeria is the challenge of going up against an Algeria side who have won each of their last three meetings, scoring six goals and conceding once since a 3-1 loss in November 2016.
Nigeria boss Peseiro has named a star-studded 25-man squad for their friendly, including the likes of William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Torino’s Ola Aina and Ajax full-back Calvin Bassey.
Alex Iwobi has been in superb form for Everton this season and the 26-year-old earns a place in the squad, alongside Kelechi Iheanacho, Cyriel Dessers and Terem Moffi, who has six goals in eight games for Lorient in the Ligue 1 this term.
The trio of Chidera Ejuke, Kevin Akpoguma and Maduka Okoye have been recalled to the squad, while 21-year-old Raphael Onyedika, who turned out for Club Brugge, could be handed his debut after earning his first call-up.
On the injury front, the Super Eagles will have to make do without Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi, who has withdrawn from the squad and returned to England due to a hamstring problem.