FIFA made the unprecedented decision to delay the 2021 African Cup of Nations to January 2022, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nigeria look set to qualify for the tournament finals comfortably, having gone their first four qualifying matches unbeaten. In fact, the Super Eagles require just one point from their final two fixtures, which come against Benin and Lesotho.
Nigeria have not won the African Cup of Nations since 2013, with their best finish since then coming in Egypt in 2019, when the Super Eagles came in third place. Cameroon are the hosts for the tournament this time around, with many fans in Africa already counting down the days until it gets underway. Many football supporters in Nigeria will already be asking themselves the question – Can the Super Eagles go all the way?
Why Nigeria Will Be Among the Favourites in Cameroon
German boss Gernot Rohr has been in charge of the Super Eagles since 2016, with one of his tasks upon signing a new contract last year having been to win the African Cup of Nations. Assuming that they are fit, Rohr will be looking to the likes of Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and Samuel Chukwueze to guide the team to the final at the very least.
The Super Eagles are normally among the favourites when it comes to odds from online bookies, however the likes of Egypy, Senegal and reigning champions Algeria will all be well backed too. It has been announced that stadiums will be just 25% full during group stage matches, however this will depend on how Covid-19 progresses. It is believed that this could rise to as much as 50% for the knockout stage.
With the tournament taking place in neighbouring Cameroon, some of those plying their trade in the Nigerian Professional Football League will be hoping to get themselves into Rohr’s squad. However, the vast majority of the team to be made up of those playing in major European divisions, with Rohr having already stated that those playing domestically risk missing out. In fact, no players from the Nigerian top-flight have been called up to the national team in the last 12 months.
Which Other African Cup of Nations Betting Markets are Worth Considering?
On-loan Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo finished as top goalscorer at the 2019 African Cup of Nations, having found the back of the net five times during the tournament. If it is to be another Nigerian player who picks up the award in Cameroon, chances are it will be Osimhen. The Napoli striker has battled Covid-19 himself, however his eye for goal would make him a good player to back.
The delay to the tournament means that bookies have not yet released their African Cup of Nations, however there are a host of markets worth keeping in mind. To make the final, group winner and top goalscorer are just a handful of the markets expected to be available at top Nigerian betting sites.