The first matchday in Group D of the Africa Cup in Cameroon will see a clash between Nigeria and Egypt. The teams, which are placed 36th and 45th in the FIFA rankings, will compete against each other. In other words, the fourth and fifth best teams on the continent will meet.
The Nigerian national team has recently made headlines off the pitch. This is because the federation sacked team manager Gernot Rohr a few weeks before the AFCON and replaced the German with interim coach Augustine Eguavoen. The Egyptian national team, with Portuguese Carlos Queiroz on the sidelines, competed in the Arab Cup in Qatar. There, the Pharaohs finished fourth without many key players. Now they will face the Super Eagles at the Stade Omnisport Roumdé Adjia in Garoua with the best possible line-up.
What speaks for Nigeria?
- More players gaining experience in Europe
- Maybe the sacking of Rohr was a jolt to the team
- Has little to lose now, especially against Egypt
What speaks for Egypt?
- Mohamed Salah is the top scorer in the English Premier League and can therefore single-handedly decide games at the AFCON
- The better performances, even without lots of players
- Victor Osimhen, a star forward, is missing from the opponents’ squad
For the Africa Cup match between Nigeria and Egypt, we have prepared an interesting expert betting tip with odds of 1.73. One bookmaker where you can place these football bets is Betway.
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Expert Analysis Nigeria
For the Nigeria national team, their first match at the Africa Cup comes a month after the replacement of Gernot Rohr. The 68-year-old German had to take his hat off after five years. Moreover, the federation decided that Augustine Eguavoen will be on the sidelines at the AFCON. However, the 56-year-old is only an interim solution, as the Portuguese José Peseiro will succeed him after the tournament in Cameroon. We will see how this will affect the Super Eagles’ performance at the Africa Cup.
In any case, we question the timing of this change of coach. Not least because the Nigerian national team has never really been convincing throughout 2021. In their last international match so far, in mid-November, they drew 1-1 at home to 73rd-ranked Cabo Verde in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Before that, the Super Eagles had won four of their five matches since the beginning of September. The Super Eagles claimed a 2-1 in Cabo Verde and two 2-0 victories over Liberia, as well as one in the Central African Republic. The latter two opponents occupy the 144th and 130th positions in the FIFA rankings. And yet, a 1-0 home defeat against the Central African Republic happened.
This shows that even several players with experience in European football do not automatically guarantee success. The absence of offensive star Victor Osimhen, a key player for Napoli in the Italian Serie A, does not make Nigeria’s mission against Egypt easier.
Expert analysis Egypt
Other than Nigeria, Egypt’s national team took part in the Arab Cup in Qatar from late November to mid-December. There, the Pharaohs, coached by the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, finished fourth. A 1-0 semi-final defeat to the world’s number 30 Tunisia ended a successful run of unbeaten matches that had continued since the summer of 2019.
Earlier, the Egyptian national team faced 29th-ranked Algeria their final Group D duel. Against the defending Africa Cup champions and later Arab Cup winners, they canceled an interval disadvantage and collected a 1-1. In the first two matchdays, they beat 95th-ranked Lebanon 1-0 and 125th-ranked Sudan 5-0. At first glance, these are not yardsticks ahead of Nigeria’s match against Egypt, but Queiroz went to Qatar without several key players. Furthermore, there they achieved their seventh win in ten games.
We mean primarily the stars who are under contract in Europe. And especially Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who leads the Premier League scoring charts with sixteen goals and can single-handedly decide a match at any time. Mohamed El Neny of Arsenal and Trézéguet of Aston Villa play in the same championship. Then there are Mostafa Mohamed of Galatasaray and Omar Marmoush of Stuttgart. It is thus clear that Egypt will go one better at the AFCON in Cameroon.
Head-to-head comparison Nigeria – Egypt
The national teams of Nigeria and Egypt most recently faced each other in a friendly in March 2019, with the Super Eagles celebrating a 1-0 home win. Before that, the teams met in the qualifiers for the 2017 AFCON. Here, the Pharaohs collected a 1-1 away draw and a 1-0 home win.
Nigeria – Egypt: expert betting tip
Ahead of Nigeria’s clash against Egypt in their Group D opener at the Africa Cup, almost everything speaks for the second named team. The Pharaohs did not finish better than fourth at the Arab Cup. The other side of the coin is that they drew with Algeria after losing 0-1 at the break. Before that, a poker against Sudan marked their seventh win in ten matches.
And this even though the Egyptian national team started without its stars in European football. With Salah & Co. they will certainly perform differently at the AFCON. In contrast, Nigeria will have to do without their great hope, Osimhen. Interim coach Eguavoen, who replaced Rohr a few weeks ago, has a tough mission ahead of him.
Nigeria vs. Egypt – our betting tip: Egypt win either half – yes, odds 1.73 at bookmaker Betway.
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