Premier League News Now’s Africa Cup of Nations preview continues with a look at Group D, where Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau find themselves.
Arguably one of the toughest groups in this year’s edition of the AFCON, Group D will be one of the groups to keep an eye on in this year’s African cup of nations.
Nigeria have been one of the powerhouses of African football for the past three decades. The west African side have made a total of 19 appearances at the Afcon ( including the 2021 edition). They approach this competition as one of the favourites to win the trophy.
In all the editions in which they have featured, they have emerged champions on three occasions ( 1980, 1994 and 2013).
The super eagles approach this competition with Ahmed Musa as their captain. The Fatih Karagumruk S.K forward and number 7 will be absolutely vital for them in their pursuit to cling onto their 4th Afcon trophy. After winning bronze in the 2019 Afcon, Ahmed Musa will lead Nigeria in Cameroon as they gaze towards an even greater goal in being champions.
All eyes will be on Kelechi Iheanacho as the Leicester City forward looks to lead the Super Eagles attack after a great start in the English premier league this season with two goals and four assists.
NIGERIA AFCON SQUAD:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England);
Record winners of the Afcon (Egypt) will be making their 25th appearance in this year’s African cup of nations. They are seven-time winners and three-peat winners between 2006 and 2010. Most prestigious nation in terms of the African cup.
Egypt comes into this competition as one of the favourites having already won it in (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010).
The Pharaohs approach this competition with Mohammed Salah as their skipper. The Liverpool FC forward has been in impeccable form and his presence will be a huge boost for the nation and for the tournament as well. Arguably the best player in world football currently.
He is definitely their player to watch as he is a nightmare for opposition defenders. His consistency in the premier league this season has not gone unnoticed. Salah has 16 goals and 7 assists in 20 games in the premier league and the Egyptian king is one to watch for the golden boot and golden ball in this tournament.
EGYPT AFCON SQUAD:
Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly, Egypt), Mohamed Sobhi (Pharco, Egypt), Mohamed Abogabal (Zamalek, Egypt), Mahmoud Gad (Enppi, Egypt).
Defenders: Ahmed Fatouh (Zamalek, Egypt), Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek, Egypt), Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh (Zamalek, Egypt), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Akram Tawfik (Al Ahly), Omar Kamal (Future, Egypt), Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (Future, Egypt), Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia).
Midfielders: Hamdi Fathi (Al Ahly, Egypt), Amr El-Sulya (Al Ahly, Egypt), Emam Ashour (Zamalek, Egypt), Ahmed Sayed Zizo (Zamalek, Egypt), Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids, Egypt), Ramadan Sobhi (Pyramids, Egypt), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Omar Marmoush (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Mohanad Lasheen (Tala’a El-Gaish, Egypt), Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Aston Villa, England).
Forwards: Mostafa Mohamed (Galatasaray, Turkey), Mohamed Sherif (Al Ahly, Egypt), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England)
Sudan are the major underdogs in Group D. A team that works hard effortlessly and earned a spot to this year’s Afcon after beating South Africa. Sudan makes their 9th appearance at the African cup of nations after a decade’s absence in the competition. Despite the side relying heavily on locally-based players, there is talent and hard work from the side to earn a spot in the next round of the competition.
Their best performance came in 1970 when they emerged as champions of the competition.
Captain Ramadan Agab leads the secretary birds in this year’s African cup of nations. Sudan sees it as a great opportunity for them as a country to put themselves on the map and to try and upset the big names in their group and are definitely a team to keep an eye on. Agab will be the player to watch in this Sudan side.
SUDAN AFCON SQUAD: TBC
Making their 3rd consecutive appearance at the African Cup of Nations will be Guinea Bissau. The west African country find themselves in a complicated group with teams like Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan all looking forward to earning a spot in the next round.
Captain Jonas Mendes will be leading the Wild Dogs towards their 3rd Afcon appearance. The group stage has been the furthest the team has been able to accomplish in terms of the competition. Skipper Jonas Mendes who plays as a goalkeeper for SC Beira Mar will be leading his side as they look to stamp their place in the tournament.
All eyes will be on the Future star of Djurtus, Moreto Cassama of Stade Reims in Ligue 1, a great central midfielder who represented Portugal on junior levels in international tournaments but has turned his eye to the wild dogs in this tournament.
GUINEA BISSAU AFCON SQUAD:
Goalkeepers: Jonas Mendes (Beira Mar, Portugal), Maurice Gomis (Ayia Napa FC, Cyprus), Manuel Mama Samba Baldé (Vizela, Portugal)
Defenders: Eulanio Chipela Gomes (FC Porto, Portugal), Fali Candé (Portimonense, Portugal), Manconi Soriano Mané (Moreirense, Portugal), Ladislau Leonel Ucha Alves (Marihense, Portugal), Aurisio Saliu Junior (Vilafranquence, Portugal), Opa Sangatte (Chateauroux, France), Jefferson Encada (Leixoes, Portugal), Ferdinand Mendy (Alloa Athletic FC, Scotland).
Midfielders: Judilson Gomes (AS Monaco, France), Jorge Braima Candé Nougueira (Farense, Portugal), Jaoa Lamine Jaquité (Vilafranquence, Portugal), Moreto Cassama (Stade Reims, France), Alfa Semedo Esteves (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal) , Panutchi Pereira Camara (Plymouth Argyle, England)
Forwards: Mama Samba Baldé (Troyes, France), Piqueti Djassi Silva (Al Shoalah, Saudi Arabia), Jorge Barbosa Intima (Wisla Plock, Poland), Mauro Rodrigues Texeira (Sion, Switzerland), Joseph Mendes (Niort, France), Steve Brahim Omar Ambri (Sochaux, France), Frédéric Mendy (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal)
GROUP D FIXTURES
Tuesday, 11 January: Nigeria vs Egypt, Sudan vs Guinea-Bissau.
Saturday, 15 January: Nigeria vs Sudan, Guinea-Bissau vs Egypt.
Wednesday, 19 January: Egypt vs Sudan, Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria.
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