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AFCON 2022: Egypt, Sudan, Guinea… how will Nigeria fare in tricky group D?

AFCON 2022: Egypt, Sudan, Guinea… how will Nigeria fare in tricky group D?
January 05
12:35 2022

Augustine Equavoen, Super Eagles of Nigeria head coach, has been handed a tricky group in the upcoming 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The 33rd AFCON will kick off in Cameroon on January 9 and run till February 5, when a new continent champion will emerge.

The Nigerian team is expected to face Egypt, their group D opponents who are serial continental winners of the tournament, in their first game on January 11, before playing Sudan four days later. Their final group game will be against Guinea Bissau on January 19.

Having won four of their six matches during the qualifiers, the young Super Eagles are full of confidence as they look to stamp their authority on each match.

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But the big question now is if the Super Eagles will survive the group D scare?

Egypt

Having harnessed the Zamalek and Al Ahly factions into one system, coach Carlos Quieroz has built a magnificent side over the years.

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One thing is certain, Eguavoen’s young Super Eagles side won’t see much of the ball when the African powerhouses clash next Tuesday.

There is no gainsaying that Quieroz will want to go with the double-pivot in midfield. If his best midfielders — Mohamed Elneny, Mohamed Magdi Kafsha and Hamdi Fathi — are fit, they will provide a midfield triangle that will dominate possession and press even the toughest of opponents.

Marwan Hamdy will also be a handful for opposition defenders with his dribbling and passing abilities and penchant to cause havoc in big games.

Upfront would be the talismanic Mo’ Salah who is expected to torment the Super Eagles backline.

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Sudan

Hard-running, high-pressing, and uber-comfortable in possession, the Sudanese are decent in the field of play.

Under Hubert Velud, the former USM Alger boss, Sudan has become one of the fast-rising African football nations.

Whether they are adopting a 4-3-3  — utilising Atahir Eltahir as a false nine — or starting with a back three, Falcons of Jediane have bought into Velud’s methods and since his arrival in 2020, Sudan has been fearless.

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The starting XI will feature a number of outstanding footballers who can fit into different tactical plans against whomever, whether that means dictating possession themselves, or counter-attacking at breakneck speed; the latter is something the Super Eagles’ defence will really need to look out for, particularly with the way they like to play from the back.

In Amir Kamal, Sudan possesses a premier box-to-box midfielder, who has excelled in spite of the added responsibility placed upon him by the coach.

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Mohamed Abdel Raman is also doing exceptionally well as a deep-lying distributor, while Ahmad Adam Mohammad has grown into his role at centre-half.

Raman drops between the line and knits midfield and attacks while forwards Saif Teri and Ramadan Alagab have the pace and techniques to cause problems to oppositions.

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Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau has been in apparent disarray in recent months, and unfortunately for coach Baciro Candé, they might be the whipping boys of the group.

Frédéric Mendy remains a key player, as the Vitoria Setubal man retains his eye for goals.

But if the Super Eagles are to have any chance of advancing through the group stage, they must beat Guinea Bissau.

With the attacking armory at their disposal, the Super Eagles should be able to get all points at stake in this encounter.

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