Benin Republic French-born coach Michel Dussuyer has tipped the Super Eagles of Nigeria as one of the favourites to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Dussuyer, 61, who stated this in an interview on FIFA.com, also tipped Africa’s other heavyweights who will also be in Qatar.
“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 improvements 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 is a very strong team who came very close to qualifying for Russia 2018.
“Madagascar had been the dark horses of Egypt 2019 yet reached the quarter-finals on their tournament debut. Tanzania has also made enormous progress of late and took part in the most recent Cup of Nations.”
Also, he spoke about his objectives with Benin and how his style of play paid off with the team.
“My first stint in Benin was good on the whole. I spent two years with them (2008-2010) and we qualified for 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 in Egypt 2019. This didn’t happen by accident, and we played very well as a team,” he added.
Benin Republic is in the same group with the Super Eagles on the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The Eagles came from a goal down to beat Benin 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 with six points while Benin is second with three points.
The other teams in the group are Lesotho and Sierra Leone who both have one point.