Athletics News of Saturday, 22 June 2019
Nigeria will glimpse for a dominant general performance in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group B opener versus rookies Burundi on Saturday 22 June at the Alexandria Stadium.
The Tremendous Eagles have been absent from the final two editions of the AFCON, but less than German manager Gernot Rohr they have secured a return to the leading table of African soccer.
Nigeria completed prime of Team E in the preliminaries (ahead of South Africa, Libya and the Seychelles) and enter the 2019 finals as just one of the favourites for the title.
The West African heavyweights received their 3rd Nations Cup title in their past visual appeal in 2013, although only veterans John Obi Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo stay from that victorious squad.
These kinds of is Nigeria’s power that they have been equipped to leave out Kelechi Iheanacho due to relative absence of match time at his club Leicester Metropolis, although Victor Moses was not even obtainable right after retiring from global football.
Their opponents Burundi are a little something of an not known quantity at this level, with the 2019 AFCON marking their major match debut.
The Swallows secured qualification by finishing as runners-up to Mali in Team C of the preliminaries.
The East Africans boast stars this kind of as Gael Bigirimana and Saido Berahino, when they will also participate in in honour of the late Papy Faty, who handed absent previously this calendar year.
In head-to-head stats, Nigeria and Burundi have met in just one particular previous match: an AFCON qualifier in January 1999 which the Tremendous Eagles won 2- at home.
The match was later annulled when Nigeria was awarded the hosting legal rights (along with Ghana) for the 2000 finals and withdrew from the preliminaries.