Nigeria – +162 at Bovada
Draw – +182
Cameroon – +220
A place in the last eight of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be up for grabs on Saturday night when Nigeria lock horns with Cameroon in a spicy West African derby.
Having won their first two games of the tournament against Burundi and Guinea by a solitary goal, the Super Eagles ended the group stage on a low note after a shocking 2-0 defeat at the hands of Madagascar. Placed 108th in the FIFA world rankings, a staggering 63 places below Nigeria, the Indian Ocean islanders took the lead against all odds in the 13th minute through Lalaïna Nomenjanahary, before Carolus Andriamatsinoro doubled the advantage eight minutes after the interval.
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Making their first appearance in the AFCON finals, this is unequivocally the best victory ever recorded by the Malagasy national football team. Nicolas Dupuis’ men won twice and drew once to finish top of Group B and reach the knockout rounds on debut, forcing Nigeria to settle for second place on six points.
Whereas Madagascar have drawn the Democratic Republic of Congo in the round of 16, the Super Eagles will now have to tackle five-time winners Cameroon.
The good news for Nigeria is that the reigning champions haven’t really shown up to the party yet. Launching their title defence with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau, Cameroon would later go on to register successive barren draws against Ghana and Benin.
Be that as it may, Clarence Seedorf’s charges have done just enough to book their place into the last 16, as the Tuesday night draw against Benin was all they needed to finish as runners-up in Group F with five points. The Black Stars of Ghana also collected five points, but they topped the group by virtue of a superior goal difference.
Nigeria vs Cameroon AFCON team news
Shehu Abdullahi was taken through the paces on Wednesday afternoon, with Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr maintaining the 26-year old will be fit to face Cameroon. This comes after the right-back sustained what looked like a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win over Burundi a fortnight ago.
Nowhere to be seen at the training facility in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Super Eagles skipper John Obi Mikel seems to have had his last taste of the tournament. A former Premier League and Champions League winner with Chelsea, the 32-year-old midfielder has been ruled out for the remainder of the competition having strained his knee during the 2-0 defeat to Madagascar.
Cameroon, on the other hand, head into the encounter without any notable injury concerns.
Nigeria vs Cameroon AFCON betting predictions
With eight titles between them, the Saturday night encounter at the Alexandria Stadium will be the sixth time these West African sides have met at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles have won three of their previous five meetings with Cameroon, with their only defeat in that time coming in the 2000 AFCON final where the Indomitable Lions triumphed on penalties.
Of the 16 goals that have been scored in this fixture, Nigeria have netted an impressive 12 while Cameroon have only struck the back of the net four times.
The only stalemate between these two sides was a 1-1 draw which came two years ago during the CAF qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Cameroon may be the defending champions, but their attacking threat in the final third is not quite as lethal as the side that claimed successive AFCON titles in 2000 and 2002.
As such, the value is with the Super Eagles to advance to the quarters.
Nigeria AFCON 2019 results
Nigeria 1-0 Burundi (June 22, 2019)
Odion Ighalo 77’
Nigeria 1-0 Guinea (June 26, 2019)
Kenneth Omeruo 73’
Madagascar 2-0 Nigeria (June 30, 2019)
Lalaïna Nomenjanahary 13’
Carolus Andriamatsinoro 53’
Cameroon AFCON 2019 results
Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau (June 25, 2019)
Yaya Banana 66’
Stéphane Bahoken 69’
Cameroon 0-0 Ghana (June 29, 2019)
Benin 0-0 Cameroon (July 2, 2019)
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