Africa Cup of Nations - AFCON

Will Nigeria Win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)?

Since the 2013 win of the Super Eagles at the AFCON tournament, Nigeria has barely seen success on the international stage. Failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup further shows how much the country has struggled to live up to its former glory. Still, Nigeria remains the most successful country in Africa when it comes to football, having won the AFCON three times. 

However, this feat doesn’t make Nigeria a great option to rely on at Fortunately, the recent turn of events show that Nigeria might be heading for a fourth win. 

Group Qualifiers

At the moment, Nigeria finds itself in Group A of the AFCON Qualifiers. There is no argument here, the country will definitely qualify. With 2 matches already played, it has accumulated 6 points from two wins. Coming second in the group table is Guinea-Bissau with 4 points from a draw and a win. Sierra Leone has only one draw from two matches and Sao Tome and Principe sits at the bottom. With the last match to be played against Guinea Bissau, Nigeria is sure of its qualification for the tournament either as the top team or in second place in the Group stage. 

With the group qualification stage out of the way, the most important part of the tournament comes next. So, what are Nigeria’s chances of taking home the AFCON title for the fourth time?

Current Performance

Currently, Nigeria has been tanking when it comes to the stats. It was able to dominate against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe, winning the latter a whopping 10 – 0. However, these stats date as far back as June 2022. Its most recent games were against Algeria in September 2022, Costa Rica in November 2022, and Portugal in same November 2022 (take note; all games are International Friendlies). Each time, Nigeria lost, with as many as 4 goals conceded against Portugal. However, considering that most of these countries are not in Africa, we can’t use them to judge the country’s chances. Still, it doesn’t look great for Nigeria and if they don’t pull off a win against Guinea Bissau, there could be doubts as to that fourth trophy win. 

Current Players 

One of the key reasons for Nigeria’s success in the Africa Cup of Nations has been its ability to field a strong and talented team. The Super Eagles have a wealth of experienced players to choose from, including the likes of Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Wilfred Ndidi, all of whom have proven themselves at the highest level. However, Nigeria has had problems in the past when it comes to getting players to play in the tournament. The likes of Victor Osimhen had claimed it was a struggle for his club to let him go to represent his country in the 2021 AFCON tournament. If Nigeria is able to build a team with its best players, there is a chance that they would pull off a much-expected win. 

To answer the question, will Nigeria win the 2023 AFCON? There is little to show that the country would come out on top. We can only watch as events unfold and judge by the current form of the players and the experience of their coach.

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