Prediction and odds for the game: Nigeria (19/10) vs Egypt (7/4)
We are backing the draw at odds of 19/10
When: Tuesday 11 January 2022, Kick-off 16:00
Where: The Stade Omnisport Roumde Adija
On Tuesday, two of the powerhouses of African football kick-off their African Cup of Nations campaigns, as Nigeria and Egypt go head-to-head in Group D of the competition.
The Super Eagles have won the competition twice in its history in 1980 and 1994. However, since that 1994 triumph, their best finish in the tournament came in 2000 when they finished as runners-up to Cameroon.
Nigeria finished in third place in 2019 after suffering a semi-final defeat against Algeria, who went on to lift the trophy. They are one of the favourites to make it out of Group D alongside Tuesday’s opponents. They have a good recent record in the AFCON, winning nine of their previous 11 matches in the tournament.
Augustine Eguavoen’s squad is full of players playing in Europe’s top leagues. Premier League players Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyeka and Kelechi Iheanacho are joined by La Liga star Samuel Chukwueze and rising Bundesliga forward Taiwo Awoniyi.
The recent history of this fixture is against the Super Eagles, as they have beaten the Pharaohs just once in five meetings in all competitions. They do head into the game on the back of four wins from their last six international games though.
The Pharaoh’s are the most successful country in the history of the African Cup of Nations, having won the competition on seven occasions. Their best run came when they lifted the trophy in 2006, 2008 and 2010. However, Egypt have been unable to repeat the feat of winning the competition of late.
In the last AFCON in 2019, Egypt exited the competition in the round of 16, suffering a 1-0 defeat against South Africa. Much more will be expected of Carlos Queiroz’s team this time around.
The man they will be looking to is Liverpool’s outstanding forward Mohamed Salah. The 29-year-old has scored 45 goals in 73 appearances for his national team and has been in blistering form for his club team in recent years. However, he will need his teammates to step up their game too, as Egypt head into this clash on the back of no victories in normal time in four international outings. With expectations high, they will be keen to go much deeper into the competition than last time out.
Egypt head into this game as favourites and one of the favourites to win the competition. However, their recent form has been underwhelming and we fancy Nigeria to hold Salah and co. to a draw. This could be a tight encounter, with neither team wanting to lose their opening group game, so we are also backing under 2.5 goals scored.
Our Tips: We are backing the draw at odds of 19/10 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/9. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Can either of these African powerhouses kick off their AFCON campaign with a victory?