Nigeria v Guinea, AFCON Qualifiers, Saturday 8th October 16h00, Abuja Stadium
This week sees the domestic leagues take a break and focus is turned to International duty as AFCON qualifiers takes the center stage. This is crunch time for these two as this is the last of the qualifying encounters and they will be going head to head to top the group and book their place in next year’s AFCON.
Nigeria has once again proved they are a power house within African football. They suffered a shock result to their upcoming opponents the first time they met as Guinea stunned the Super Eagles with a 1 goal deficit. Nigeria currently lies 2nd in the group standings, 3 points off their opponents. Manager Samson Siasia will be looking to his more experienced players to get them over this obstacle and give them a clear passage way in to the African Nations Cup.
Nigeria has won this tournament twice in their history in 1980 and 1994. Since then the Super Eagles have failed to stamp their authority in this tournament as they fell short on countless occasions finishing 3rd in the last two Nations Cups. Nigeria has a more youthful squad heading into the tournament as the likes of Chinedu Obasi, Mikel John Obi and Victor Obinna form the face of the squad, getting assistance from more experienced players such as Peter Odemwingie and club captain Joseph Yobo. There is a good mixture in the team and this could prove vital for the Super Eagles future.
Guinea has been the surprise package throughout the qualifying campaign. They currently top the group with 13 points and are unbeaten thus far. Guinea is currently ranked at 76th place in the World standings and has stunned many football fans with their progression thus far. Guinea did not take part in the last edition of this tournament as they fell short of qualification. They did however manage to reach the quarter-finals on three consecutive occasions in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Head coach Michel Dussuyer has nothing but praise for his current squad as they have taken Guinea football to higher heights and have achieved history already by defeating African giants Nigeria on route to qualifying for the Nations cup. They now face the Super Eagles in a crunch encounter to determine who tops the group and gains qualification. Guinea have a few players that ply their trade in Europe, the likes of Bobo Balde, Pascal Feindouno and Kamil Zayatte will provide that vital experience and hopefully this will be a key factor for the countries progression into the tournament.
VERDICT: NIGERIA 7/20
Both teams know the importance of this match and will be going all out to obtain the win. The Super Eagles will be the more under pressure of the two as they were expected to top the group with ease. This could be the motivation the Nigerians need. A win for the home team is the best bet.
Written by Idris Mooideen for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
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