Nigeria will go into their Group B match against Guinea's Syli Nationale at Alexandria Stadium today knowing a win will guarantee them a place in the Round of 16.
The Super Eagles opened their campaign with a slender 1-0 victory over Burundi, despite dominating the match and having over 10 shots on goal.
Goals will come
It took a 77th minute goal by China-based Odion Ighalo to give them the edge. But Ahmed Musa, a second-half substitute for captain John Obi Mikel, said the number of goals scored in the group stage does not matter.
"A win is more crucial at this time," the Saudi Arabia based player explained after the match. The clash between the Anglophone and Francophone teams will test both teams as they chase for maximum points.
Late fitness test
The Nigerians are currently top of the group, while their opponents are second, level on points with Madagascar after their 2-2 at the weekend.
Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles German coach, got a boost on Monday when pacy winger, the France-based Samuel Kalu, was given a go ahead by Caf medical team to take part in the tournament after he collapsed last Friday during training.
But his participation will be decided by coach Rohr. However, Kalu - along with defenders Shehu Abdullahi and Collins Jamilu - missed training on Monday and are doubtful.
Syli Nationale will bank on their record against Nigeria having beaten the Super Eagles three times in their eight previous meetings.
However, the Guinea's French coach Paul Put is on a personal mission as he faces Nigeria for the third time.
In 2013, he played the Super Eagles in the group stage in South Africa, the match ending 1-1 before losing the final 1-0.
He will surely be on revenge mission in Alexandria this afternoon. But there is no doubt that the highly-rated Nigerians will start as favourites.
Nigeria vs. Guinea
(SS7/10, 4.30pm LIVE)
Nigeria 2 wins
Guinea 3 wins
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