Tomorrow in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the Super Eagles will know the five teams who stand between them and the 2026 FIFA World Cup when the draw is staged.
Perennial rivals Black Stars of Ghana, who denied Nigeria a place at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, could again be drawn against the Eagles on the road to the next World Cup to be hosted by USA, Canada and Mexico.
Ghana edged past Nigeria in ‘The Jollof Derby’ on the away goals’ rule in March 2022 to qualify for Qatar 2022.
The Super Eagles are one of nine top seeds at Wednesday’s draw based on the latest FIFA Rankings.
The other top seeds are Morocco, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire and they will all head a qualifying group.
This means these top-ranked teams will avoid each other in their quest to feature at the expanded Mundial in North America three years from now.
Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, and DR Congo are among the second seeded teams and will have to come up against these top seeds in the qualifying tournament, which will kick off in November.
Besides the nine group winners automatically advancing to the World Cup, the best four runners-up will play off for an additional slot that will be determined in an inter-continental tournament.
Seedings for 2026 World Cup Qualifiers (CAF)
Pot 1: Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt
Pot 2: Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Guinea, Zambia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea
Pot 3: Angola, Benin, Kenya, Mauritania, Congo, Uganda, Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Namibia
Pot 4: Mozambique, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Malawi, Libya
Pot 5: Niger, Comoros, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Botswana, Liberia
Pot 6: Lesotho, South Sudan, Mauritius, Chad, Sao Tome, Djibouti, Seychelles, Eritrea, Somalia