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AFCON 2023: Can the Super Eagles win it again?

Super Eagles win AFCON in 2013

As the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 approaches, the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, is in focus, with varying opinions on their potential performance.

Super Eagles’ Lineup and Strengths

The Super Eagles’ probable lineup for the tournament includes notable players like Francis Uzoho, Semi Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, and Victor Osimhen, who was recently crowned African Footballer of the Year. They boast a blend of experienced players and emerging talents, making them a formidable team.

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The squad’s high spirits and preparation under coach Jose Peseiro have been highlighted, with a focus on their attacking capabilities​​​​​​.

Challenges and Areas of Concern

Despite their strengths, the Super Eagles face some challenges, especially in the midfield playmaking department. Since the retirement of iconic players like Austin Jay-Jay Okocha and John Obi-Mikel, the team has struggled to find consistent quality in attacking midfielders. This could be a crucial factor in their overall performance at AFCON 2023​​​​.

Tournament Prediction and Expectations

Analyses suggest that while Nigeria has a strong team, they might face difficulties against stronger sides in knockout football, potentially limiting their involvement to the quarter-final stage. However, expectations remain high, with the team aiming for a fourth AFCON title. Their journey in the tournament will not be easy, as they are placed in a challenging Group A alongside Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau​​​​​​.

Perspectives from Football Figures

John Mikel Obi, the former Super Eagles captain, has made a bold prediction that Nigeria will win the AFCON 2023 and has tipped Victor Osimhen to be the tournament’s best player.

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Gambia head coach Tom Saintfiet also considers Nigeria one of the favorites for the game. These endorsements highlight the potential and expectations surrounding the Super Eagles​​​​.

However, while there are concerns, particularly in the midfield, the Super Eagles’ blend of talent, experience, and strategic preparation underlines their status as a strong contender in the tournament.

The team’s historical performance in AFCON, combined with the current squad’s capabilities, sets the stage for what could be an exhilarating performance by Nigeria in one of football’s most prestigious continental tournaments.

Pulse Sports

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