There is no doubt that all eyes would be on the Super Eagles as they confront Burundi in Group B’s opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday with all three points at stake.
Interestingly, the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify for the last two editions of the African Cup of Nations left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Nigerians. Also, their exit from the group stage in the 2018 World Cup was nearly as bitter. This edition of AFCON gives the Nigerian football team an opportunity to make up for their recent failures, and they intend to take it with both hands.
While Burundi might give Nigeria a tough time, the Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr will expect the team to leave the pitch with 3 points. Nigeria have lost only one match since the World Cup game against Argentina that cemented their exit. Burundi, on the other hand, have not won a match since their home game against Seychelles in October 2015.
Nigeria would have to be wary about Burundi’s strike force that includes Fiston Abdoul-Razak and former Stoke City striker Saido Berahino. While the Eagles’ defence can see off their challenges, any slipup in concentration could lead to conceding a goal to any of the duo.
Rohr would be banking on the services of Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi to help wreck a Burundi side that would be hoping for an upset.
Meanwhile, captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, John Mikel Obi has said the three-time African champions will do everything humanly possible to do their teeming fans proud in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
“We all are aware of what is at stake. This tournament will not be child’s play or a stroll in the park, but we are ready. It will be tough but when it gets tough, we will get tougher.”
Nigeria vs Burundi AFCON 2019 Match Info
Venue: Alexandria Stadium
Kick off time: 6:00 PM (WAT)
Where to watch: SuperSport