AFCON 2023: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea; Facts to know, team updates and predictions


The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to begin their 20th Africa Cup of Nations campaign in the 34th edition of AFCON against a resilient Equatorial Guinea and here are key details such as facts about this fixture, team news and updates as well as predictions of the possible outcome of this fixture.

The AFCON 2023 tournament was off to a flying start as the hosts Ivory Coast in the first match of the competition against Guinea Bissau secured all 3 points with goals from Seko Fofana and Krasso ensuring the clinch the number one spot in Group A of the competition.

All eyes are now on the Super Eagles of Nigeria who are also in group A and will take on Equatorial Guinea in the second fixture of AFCON 2023. This has been categorized as a must-win by the coach and captain of Nigeria Ahmed Musa during their pre-match press conference held in Abidjan on Saturday, in their bid to kick start the #LetsDoItAgain campaign in grand style.

Facts about the AFCON 2023 fixture, Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea you should know

Here are five facts as well as figures you should know ahead of the AFCON 2023 fixture Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea:

  1. This will be the first meeting between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. However, they did face each other in the qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with Nigeria winning both matches 1-0 and 2-0.
  2. Nigeria has appeared in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 20 times. They won the tournament thrice (1980, 1994, 2013) and made it to the semi-finals in 14 of their last 17 AFCON participations.
  3. Nigeria has won 12 out of their last 15 matches at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with the remaining 3 losses. They haven't had a draw since the 2013 group stages when they tied with Zambia (1-1).
  4. Equatorial Guinea has participated in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations four times. However, they have only qualified twice as non-hosts. The team has always reached the knockout stages in their appearances so far. They were quarter-finalists in 2012 and 2021 and finished in 4th place in 2015.
  5. Equatorial Guinea has scored no more than two goals in any of their prior 15 matches at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea Team and Injury Update

Nigeria AFCON 2023 injury update

Ndidi Super Eagles Injury
Wilfred Ndidi

With Nigeria being forced to make three changes due to injury to the 25-man squad list initially released by the head coach, The Super Eagles might be forced to make a change in their approach toward the first game of their AFCON 2023 campaign.

Nigeria has however received a huge boost in the arrival of Kelechi Iheanacho to the training camp but it still remains uncertain as to if he will be available for the fixture. Reports also indicate that Fulham's Alex Iwobi might not be in the first half line up of the team with coach Peseiro choosing to opt for Wilfred Ndidi's replacement Al-Hassan Yusuf instead.

Here is a possible lineup for the Super Eagles ahead of the fixture:

Predicted Nigeria XI: Uzoho; Osayi-Samuel, Troost-Ekong, Ajayi, Bassey; Chukwueze, Onyeka, Yusuf, Simon; Lookman, Osimhen

Equatorial Guinea AFCON 2023 injury update

Equatorial Guinea national team, Juan Micha, in his pre-match press conference, revealed that his team is currently battling an injury crisis in camp as well with key players also set to miss out on the first game of the tournament action as well.

He stated, “We also have key players missing from our team. I know Nigeria is a big team. But if there are players missing, I feel there are replacements as well. So, this is not an issue for them. We are aware of their potential and Nigeria’s potential, and we also have our potential. There are key players who did not make it to Abidjan.”

With Equatorial Guinea looking to get the best of Nigeria for the first time since both sides have met, the squad will be looking to put a lot into the first game of the tournament as it can make or mar the entire campaign.

Here is the predicted lineup of Equatorial Guinea ahead of the AFCON 2023 fixture:

Predicted Equatorial Guinea XI: Owono, Ndong, Obiang, Anieboh, Akapo, Bikoro, Ganet, Machín, Miranda, Salvador, Nsue.

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea predictions

Going by the strengths of the two nations and the quality each side possesses Nigeria is poised to secure a convincing victory in their first game of AFCON 2023.

We predict a 4-1 scoreline in favour of Nigeria.

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