A draw with Guinea Bissau will place the Eagles in second position and a possible round of 16 clash with either Cameroun or Guinea, but if the Eagles top the group, they will meet any of Tunisia, South Africa (if they qualify), Algeria, Angola, Cameroon or Guinea, The Guardian reports.
Nigeria has four points from the first two games, same as Equatorial Guinea, which currently leads the group on superior goals difference. The central Africans will meet Cote d’Ivoire, which is third on three points, in their last group game today. Guinea Bissau has no point after two games.
Winning Group A does not guarantee the Super Eagles easy passage to the quarterfinals because the last time they topped their group in Cameroon two years ago, they lost to Tunisia, who finished third in their own group, at the round of 16.
After two straight losses in Abidjan, Guinea-Bissau are already out of the tournament and have only pride to fight for against the Super Eagles. They lost their opening game 0-2 to Cote d’Ivoire and were beaten 2-4 by Equatorial Guinea on matchday two.
Super Eagles midfielder, Alhassan Yusuf, who missed the game against Cote d’Ivoire, will also miss today’s match as he is not yet fit for the game, which means Coach Jose Peseiro will continue with a midfield of Alex Iwobi and Frank Onyeka, with Kelechi Iheanacho likely coming in as the attacking midfielder.
Iheanacho has not featured in this competition following the injury he copped before the championship started. But camp sources say he is now ready to enter the fray.
With Victor Osimhen still leading the attack, Peseiro is expected to continue with a forwardline also featuring Ademola Lookman and Samuel Chukwueze.
Feelers from the Eagles’ last training session yesterday show that the backline could be unchanged from the side that stifled Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday, with Skipper William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi and Calvin Bassey in a three-man central defence providing cover for goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili, while Zaidu Sanusi and Ola Aina will play as wingbacks.
Today’s game is the fourth meeting between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau and the second at the Africa Cup of Nations.
At the 2021 edition of the championship in Cameroon, the Super Eagles ran out 2-0 winners in the group stage. But at the qualifying round of the 2023 AFCON, Guinea-Bissau beat Nigeria 1-0 in Abuja, while they returned the favour in Bissau to finish top of the group.