Benin Republic head coach Michel Dussuyer has backed Nigeria to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Dussuyer, who stated this in an interview on FIFA.com, also mentioned other African teams likely make it through to the Tournament.
He said: “I’d go for countries that have participated before in the World Cup like Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Nor should we forget Algeria, who won the Africa Cup of Nations.”
“Then you have teams that could spring a surprise, such as Mali, who have made huge improvement recently and who I’d consider a dark horse in these qualifiers.”
Asked about Benin Republic’s group that includes Congo DR, Tanzania and Madagascar, the former Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea coach said: “The group is tough, as we’ll be facing three teams who appeared at the most recent African finals. Congo DR are a very strong team who came very close to qualifying for Russia 2018.”
“Madagascar were the dark horses of Egypt 2019 yet reached the quarter-finals on their tournament debut. Tanzania have also made enormous progress of late and took part in the most recent Cup of Nations.”
The Frenchman also spoke about how his style of play has paid off with Benin.
“My first stint with Benin was good on the whole. I spent two years with them (2008-2010) and we qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.
“Since I returned, we’ve tried to adopt a style that suits the team. We worked together until we reached the level that took us to the quarter-finals at Egypt 2019. This didn’t happen by accident, and we played very well as a team,” he added.
The Squirrels are in the same group with the Super Eagles in the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Eagles came from a goal down to beat Michel Dussuyer’s men 2-1 on matchday one of the qualifiers inside the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo, in November 2019.
After two rounds of fixtures, the Eagles top Group L on six points while Benin are second on three points.
The other teams in the group are Lesotho and Sierra Leone who both have one point.