With one of the group tickets in sight, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will this afternoon go for the three points as they battle the Syli Nationale of Guinea in their second group match in the ongoing 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
Victory in the match which starts at 3.30pm Nigeria time will guarantee the Round of 16 spot for the Super Eagles who opened their campaign with a slim 1-0 win over debutants Burundi last Saturday.
This is because Guinea’s unexpected 2-2 draw against debutants Madagascar on Day 1, for which both teams shared a point each, means any team that harnesses six points in Group B would most certainly progress to the knockout rounds.
While AFCON 2019 is Nigeria’s 18th appearance (today’s encounter will be their 88th match), Guinea is showing up here for the 13th time.
Nigeria have won the title three times, finished in second place five times and picked up the bronze medals seven times. Guinea has only a runners-up place to show for their endeavour, back in 1976 when the tournament was held based on a league format.
The Syli Nationale are bound to throw everything into today’s game, as defeat would gravely abbreviate their chances of progressing to the knockout rounds.
It is probable that Coach Rohr will stick with South Africa -based Daniel Akpeyi in goal, with Kenneth Omeruo and Willian Ekong at the centre of defence and Ola Aina at left back.
Samuel Chukwueze, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa may start at the fore, against a very strong Guinea team and on a day Nigeria need the goals and points to ease into the knockout rounds with a match to spare.
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