Nigeria will progress to the quarter-final of the CHAN tournament in Rwanda should they at least pick up a draw with Guinea in one of the two simultaneous final Group C clash in Rubavu today.
With the Eagles slated to face-off with the Syli National at 3pm, they top group C with four points from two matches, but the group is still very much open with all four teams still in with a mathematical chance of reaching the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Guinea have drawn each of their two matches 2-2 against Tunisia and Niger Republic, coming from behind each time. They pose a big threat because of their mobility and physicality encompassed by striker Alseny Camara who is the team’s highest scorer on two goals; both coming against Tunisia in their opening group game.
However, where Guinea boasts of a fully fit squad, the same cannot be said of Nigeria as leading scorer Chisom Chikatara and midfielder Usman Mohammed have not trained with the rest of the squad after picking up a knock and groin strain respectively, against Tunisia.
Speaking on the fitness of his key players, Coach Sunday Oliseh admitted doubts but is certain of competent replacements should they be unavailable.
”We took Usman out against Tunisia because he had a groin strain and felt pains. We have kept him on minimum work and we are hoping he can catch up with the game tomorrow. Chikatara is also working hard to be in good shape and we would check on them after the training and eventually will decide on how to use them in the game. That though is if they are available and if not we will move on from them.”
Nigeria and Guinea have met 16 times at full international level with Nigeria having a slight edge over the Syli National. The Eagles have won 5 of those games, drawn 7 and lost 4 times to Guinea since the first official game between the two teams in 1960. The last time the two teams met, Guinea stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations playing out a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium, Abuja in October 2011.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa – Matthew Etim, Chima Akas, Austin Obaroakpo, Orji Kalu – Paul Onobi, Ifeanyi Matthew – Osas Okoro, Prince Aggreh, Bartholomew Ibenegbu – Tunde Adeniji