AFCON Predictions: Nigeria to beat Equatorial Guinea

Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea preview, injuries, tactics, and predictions.

AFCON Predictions: Nigeria to beat Equatorial Guinea
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on Equatorial Guinea in their AFCON opener on Sunday, what are your predictions? (Photo credit: GOAL)

 
Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea
Stade Alassane Ouattara
3:00pm

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on Equatorial Guinea in their Africa Cup of Nations opener on Sunday at the Stade Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Ivory Coast.

It’s the second game of the African continental championship between nations after hosts Ivory Coast dispatched Guinea-Bissau 2-0 on Saturday. The game took place after a lavish opening ceremony with FIFA president Giannis Infantino as well as other African dignitaries in attendance.

Equatorial Guinea isn’t a major force in African football, but you don’t make it to a tournament like this if you didn’t put in the work; they’re more of a team, and their style is cohesive. Nigeria must be wary of their threats on the counter.

It’s interesting to note that, in its current form, Equatorial Guinea has a better story to tell than the supposed African giants. The National Thunder are unbeaten in their last five games, winning two and settling for draws three times, while Nigeria has only one win in their last five.

The Super Eagles have suffered a couple of injuries, but they have what it takes to take absolute care of their rivals during the day. Nigeria is dominant in all the departments bar goalkeeping; however, when you’re on the offensive for the best part of the game, your burden becomes lighter.

It’s a good opportunity for coach Jose Peseiro to prove he’s not a wasted force. Most people don’t trust him, and you can’t blame them. His antecedent is nothing to write home about; he’s a big risk that must pay off; he is smoking his last cigarettes with the Nigerian national team.

Equatorial Guinea will set up to defend deep and then hit the Super Eagles on the counterattack. They have a gangling forward who will hope to profit from long balls, and there is a lack of pace between the likely starters at center-back back for Nigeria, Calvin Bassey and William Troost Ekong.

The Super Eagles will load the attack as always. Victor Osimhen is a certain starter for Nigeria, and it is left to be seen who partners him on both flanks. Alex Iwobi and Frank Onyeka are the two midfielders expected to run the show in the middle of the park.

If Nigeria wants to avoid early permutations as always, they must beat Equatorial Guinea. If you want to win a tournament like this, taking each game as it comes is key, but with Ivory Coast in the mix, dropping points against the opponents on Sunday means Nigeria will walk a tightrope again. It’s not negotiable.

Verdict: Nigeria to win

Name

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: AFCON Predictions: Nigeria to beat Equatorial Guinea
AFCON Predictions: Nigeria to beat Equatorial Guinea
Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea preview, injuries, tactics, and predictions.
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