Zimbabwe vs Nigeria preview
In the 2nd round match of the African zone FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying tournament, Zimbabwe will face Nigeria. The game will take place on Sunday, November 19, on neutral ground in the city of Butare, Rwanda.
Zimbabwe has recently ended an 18-month suspension imposed by FIFA due to government interference in sporting processes. The qualification for the World Cup 2026 marks their return to official games after a prolonged break. Zimbabwe played their first match in the tournament away against Rwanda (0-0) and did not leave Butare, where they will take on Nigeria, but as hosts now.
Nigeria is one of the strongest teams on the African continent, so it's not surprising that bookmakers consider them clear favourites in the upcoming encounter. According to the Zimbabwe vs Nigeria odds, betting on the guests to win is offered with odds ranging from 1.30 to 1.40. Meanwhile, the chances for the hosts are evaluated with odds between 12.00 and 12.15. Bookmakers provide odds for a draw within the range of 5.10 to 5.25.
Let's assess the current form and motivation of both teams and choose the most reliable Zimbabwe vs Nigeria tips.
The Zimbabwe national team has been inactive for a year and a half due to a FIFA ban. During this period, the team not only abstained from official matches but also did not participate in friendly games. They played their first match in almost 20 months at the end of September, drawing 1-1 in a friendly match against Botswana.
In the current FIFA World Cup 2026 qualification tournament, Zimbabwe started with an away game, securing a goalless draw against Rwanda. Despite being the underdogs in this encounter, the visitors managed to earn their first point in the tournament.
The start of the new qualification tournament has been truly shocking for the Super Eagles: in the first round, they were unable to overcome Lesotho, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Nigeria had overwhelming control of the game but conceded first in the middle of the second half. The Nigerians managed to equalise, but considering that the competition for the top spot in the group is likely to be between Nigeria and South Africa, such a start for the Super Eagles is a genuine gift for the South Africans. The other national teams in Group C are clearly of a lower level than the two favourites, so all else being equal, South Africa already has an advantage over their main competitor.
In the match against Zimbabwe, the Nigerians will undoubtedly be highly motivated, and it's quite possible that their upcoming opponent may feel the impact of their determination.
Betting tips Zimbabwe vs Nigeria
The history of encounters between these two teams includes five matches, and Zimbabwe has never won (1 draw, 4 defeats, goal difference 1-11).
The nominal hosts already had limited chances of success in the upcoming match, and after Nigeria failed to secure three points in the opening round, it seems that there is no other option but a victory for them in this game. We believe that the Nigerians will not only approach the match against Zimbabwe with determination but will also score the goals they couldn't in the game against Lesotho. The factor of a neutral field should also have a certain impact on the Zimbabwean team. For these reasons, our Zimbabwe vs Nigeria prediction suggests betting on the away team with a negative handicap. Our tip for this game is Nigeria -1.5 at 2.02.