Nigeria to play against Egypt in Group D Opener
Who rules Group D in the ongoing Cameroun 2021 Africa Cup of Nations? That question will be incompletely answered moment when Nigeria’s Super Eagles engage Dictators of Egypt in what has been nominated the toughest match of the group. It's generally assumed that the victor in the clash at the Roumde Adjia Stadium will go on to win the group.
Nigeria and Egypt are old guests in the competition, having met several times at different stages of the Nations Cup, but moment’s meeting means further to the Super Eagles, who have pledged to retaliate the defeat that bring them the ticket to the 2017 edition of the competition.
With Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at the peak of his powers, utmost pundits believe that the Egyptian magician will lead his colors to a narrow palm, but Nigeria’s trainer, Austin Eguavoen, will have none of that.
Among those, who believe Egypt will have the upper hand moment is Sudan’s
General Manager, Mohsen Sayed, whose platoon is in the same Group D with Nigeria and Egypt.
The Falcons of Jediane will also start their trip moment, against Guinea-Bissau, before facing Nigeria and eventually the Dictators in the final group stage match.
Previewing moment’s game, Sayed said “ Egypt has the stylish player in the world.
“ On paper, the Egyptian public platoon is better than Nigeria and is the closest to winning, but football is full of surprises. I surely hope that Egypt win.”
To Eguavoen, people who don't know the true strength of the Super Eagles generally make similar prognostications. He assured Nigerians that his wards would be equal to whatever Egypt throws at them, adding that he has inversely ferocious battlers in his team.
The Super Eagles won their only friendly game ahead of this competition, a 2-0 palm over Coton Sport Garoua on Friday. The game gave a regard of what Nigerians should anticipate when the Eagles meet Egypt moment.
Speaking ahead of moment’s match against Dictators, Eguavoen said his platoon is apprehensive of the difficulty they will face against Egypt, but assured they will put grins on the faces of Nigerians.
The Eagles will latterly face Sudan and Guinea Bissau, but Eguavoen says he'll take the games one at a time.
“ Our game plan is to win the first match against Egypt, later, we prepare for the other games.
“ Egypt are seven times winner and they're a platoon I've played against and counseled against at the inferior position. I know what they can bring to the table.
“ They aren't a platoon you can push over. None of the brigades that qualified for the AFCON is a pushover. We'll do everything possible to see how we can overcome Egypt. Nigeria is a big country and other brigades are planning as well.”
In 2006, Eguavoen took the Super Eagles to the third position in the competition, and now, he feels he can go a step further.
“ I suppose I'm better as a trainer now because every day that counts matters and I've watched numerous trainers and I learnt a lot because we learn every day. But the thing is your opponents determine how you set up your platoon. So, it'll be a different approach against Egypt and another against Sudan and Guinea Bissau.”
Asked how the Eagles will take care of rampaging Liverpool striker, Mohammed Salah, Eguavoen said “ Stay and see.”
Egypt has not won the African Cup of Nations again since their seventh triumph in Angola in 2010. That's what they're out to correct in Cameroun.
Still, the Dictators admit that the trip won't be smooth. Indeed with Salah, The Dictators sweat that their platoon may not have an easy walkover against the big boys of African football when the chips are down.
Salah’s recent form with the Dictators has been lower than emotional, fading in comparison to what he has been able of doing for the Reds in both the Premier or Titleholders’ leagues this season. But Salah’s megastar status alone can be a game- changer anyhow of his form.
Speaking on Salah’s anticipated impact in the competition, Egyptian football critic, Sabry Sirag told Reuters “ He's not a guaranteed ticket to lifting the jewel, but his presence on the pitch alone costs time and trouble from other brigades to come up with a way to contain him.
“ They put one or two protectors on him and that frees others to do what’s demanded.”
Winner of the group will probably avoid Algeria, who are anticipated to win GroupE.
“ The Nigeria match will, to a large extent, decide the road ahead for Egypt in the event,” says judge Mahmoud El Makhbazi, while installing Algeria and Senegal as title favourites.
“ But there are no guarantees given the coronavirus epidemic. Any platoon can lose crucial players to COVID-19, including Egypt.”
While the attention is substantially concentrated on Salah, a sprinkle of players in the Egypt team are anticipated to shine in the event. These include El Wensh, midfielders Hamdy Fathi and Akram Tawfik, and Omar Maramoush, the Stuttgart forward in Germany’s Bundesliga.