Although the Super Eagles recorded a 1-0 win over AFCON debutants Burundi on Saturday in their first match in a finals tournament since 2013, their performance was entirely underwhelming, with Odion Ighalo’s late goal the difference between the sides.
Against stronger opposition in the form of Guinea, who drew 2-2 with Madagascar in their opening match, Gernot Rohr’s side will have to raise their game significantly.
|Game||Nigeria vs Guinea|
|Date||Wednesday, June 26|
|Time||3:30pm BST / 10:30am ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 and is available to stream via Eurosport Player.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Eurosport 2||Eurosport Player|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ezenwa, Uzoho, Akpeyi|
|Defenders||Omeruo, Abdullahi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Aina, Collins, Awaziem|
|Midfielders||Mikel, Musa, Iwobi, Ndidi, Etebo, Simon, Ogu, Onyekuru, Kalu, Chukwueze|
|Forwards||Ighalo, Osimhen, Onuachu|
Samuel Kalu missed the opening fixture for Nigeria after collapsing due to dehydration on the eve of the match. The Bordeaux winger, however, has been cleared to return to action.
Shehu Abdullahi picked up a hamstring injury in that clash and could miss the rest of the tournament.
Gernot Rohr will also hope the effects of a bug that hit the squad prior to the Burundi match have cleared, though after that lacklustre display changes to the starting XI were to be expected. Odion Ighalo starts after coming off the bench to get the winner against Burundi.
Nigeria starting XI: Akpeyi; Awaziem, Omeruo, Balogun, Aina; Ndidi, Etebo; Simon, Iwobi, Musa; Ighalo.
|Goalkeepers||N. Yattara, Kone, Keita|
|Defenders||Sylla, Seka, Falette, Sidibe, Jeanvier, Dyrestam, F. Camara|
|Midfielders||Diawara, M. Camara, Keita, Cisse, Fofana|
|Forwards||M. Yattara, Kante, Kamano, Idrissa Sylla, Traore, Koita, Bangoura, Kaba|
Naby Keita was among the substitutes for the opening match of the competition as he made his first appearance since limping off for Liverpool in the 3-0 Champions League semi-final defeat against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Guinea starting XI: Kone; Sylla, Seka, Simon, Dyrestam; Diawara; Keita, Cisse, Kamano, Traore; Kaba.
Betting & Match Odds
Nigeria are 10/11 favourites to get the win with Bet365. Guinea can be backed at 7/2, while a draw is available at 21/10.
Nigeria’s quest to claim a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title started in inauspicious manner as they struggled to get over the line against Burundi.
Although they dominated possession of the ball, they struggled to fashion chances but made the breakthrough in the final 15 minutes thanks to a precious strike from Odion Ighalo.
“We were lucky to get the goal,” captain John Obi Mikel explained after the Group B clash. “We need to try again to win the next game. We need to try also to win the second game and hopefully qualify from this group as quickly as possible – and then look forward to the next stage.”
Much more is expected of Gernot Rohr’s side, whose pre-tournament fixtures against Zimbabwe and Senegal ended in a scoreless draw and a 1-0 defeat respectively. Questions are being raised about their offensive structure, with goals proving hard to come by, even if they aren't conceding regularly at the other end of the park.
Guinea are expected to provide tougher foes than Burundi, who were making their AFCON debut. Whereas the Central African nation languish 134th on the FIFA Ranking, next up is a team 71st, with stars such as Francois Kamano, Amadou Diawara and Naby Keita among their ranks.
However, they made a less-than-perfect start to their campaign, too, as they failed to overcome another debutant in the form of Madagascar.
Sory Kaba gave Guinea a first-half lead only for that effort to be cancelled out by Anicet Abel shortly after the restart. Carolus Andriatmatsinoro gave the islanders the advantage but a Kamano penalty squared the match, ensuring a share of the points.
Neither of these teams, then, has started the competition in exactly the manner they would have wished, but Nigeria, with the three points under their belts, undoubtedly approach this match in a healthier position.
Win, and the Super Eagles will be in the knockout phase.