Sunday, June 23, 2024

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets for AFCON 2024 group match – Sporting News


Nigeria gets their pivotal 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament underway as they meet Equatorial Guinea amidst a very difficult Group A to navigate.
The Super Eagles have slipped from their recent African dominance, failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. From a continental perspective, they have been poor as well since winning the 2013 AFCON tournament, failing to qualify altogether in 2015 and 2017 before falling short of reaching the final in 2019 and 2021.
They boast a supremely talented squad this time around, but getting those players to reprise their club form at the international level has been a struggle in the past decade. Striker Victor Osimhen is fresh off winning the coveted African Player of the Year award for 2023, but they lost in-form forward Victor Boniface to a groin injury just before the tournament.

They face 88th-ranked Equatorial Guinea to open the competition, who went unbeaten through their seven matches in 2023 and reached the quarterfinals of AFCON 2021, beating Algeria in the group stage before falling to eventual champions Senegal.
USA: Click here to see the latest odds for Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea and bet on AFCON matches
Before backing the talented Super Eagles, we have to see it to believe it from Nigeria. They have continued to fall short of the expectations put forth by their on-paper roster, the latest being a 2-0 defeat to 80th-ranked Guinea in their pre-tournament friendly.
They slumped to consecutive 1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe to begin World Cup qualifying in late 2023, and fell to fellow Group A participants Guinea-Bissau in AFCON qualifying earlier back in March by a 1-0 score. Nigeria has particularly struggled to score goals, something Victor Osimhen hopes to change, but the loss of Victor Boniface is a major blow in that regard.

While the African Cup of Nations is often a low-scoring affair, and this match could fall into line in that regard, not all low-scoring matches are alike.
AFCON often bucks the normal football trend of more goals being scored after halftime. Often, teams find an early goal and sit on it the rest of the way, defending in droves as they frustrate the desperate opposition.
In both of Nigeria’s 1-0 results from AFCON qualifying last year (one win and one defeat, both to Guinea-Bissau), the winning goal was scored in the first half. For Equatorial Guinea, both of their 1-0 wins in World Cup qualifying back in November saw the winner scored before the break.
The main goal threat for Equatorial Guinea, by far, is their forward Emilio Nsue. The 34-year-old has 17 goals in 40 international caps but is heating up for both club and country.
He has a goal in each of his last four competitive international appearances and has bagged seven goals in 15 matches for his club Intercity, which plays in the third tier of Spanish football. He scored goals in three consecutive league games before departing for AFCON duty, and in both of Equatorial Guinea’s first two World Cup qualifiers of this current cycle back in November, both 1-0 victories.
Nigeria has plenty of attacking talent, but their defensive unit is aging, and they conceded goals in six of eight matches through 2023 plus their 2-0 pre-tournament friendly defeat. This selection has significant value in a match where an upset is highly possible.
beIN Sports has the broadcast rights to the entirety of the 2023 African Cup of Nations in both the United States and Canada. They will broadcast the matches in both English and Spanish, with both beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Espanol available to stream on Fubo USA and Fubo Canada.
Sky Sports has acquired the broadcast rights to the African Cup of Nations in the UK and will put games on Sky Sports Mix, with streaming available on Sky Go.
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Kyle Bonn, is a Syracuse University broadcast journalism graduate with over a decade of experience covering soccer globally. Kyle specializes in soccer tactics and betting, with a degree in data analytics. Kyle also does TV broadcasts for Wake Forest soccer, and has had previous stops with NBC Soccer and IMG College. When not covering the game, he has long enjoyed loyalty to the New York Giants, Yankees, and Fulham. Kyle enjoys playing racquetball and video games when not watching or covering sports.


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