Editor's note: The 2022 Africa Cup of Nations saw its groups drawn on Tuesday evening, August 17 in Yaoundé. Cameroon hosts the pandemic-postponed tournament, Africa's premier football showcase, from January 9 to February 6, 2022
In this opinion, Oluwatoyin Tobiloba, Social Media growth manager at Legit.ng, writes on Nigeria's chances of winning a 4th AFCON title at next year's Mundial.
The draw for AFCON 2022 was conducted on Tuesday, August 17 and the Super Eagles would be looking to win their 4th title if they emerge from Group D.
There are six groups and Group D has Nigeria, seven-time winners Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau with the top 2 advancing to the knockout stage.
Defending champions Algeria are in Group E alongside Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast.
Cameroon, host country of the competition and the second most titled nation in Africa with five trophies, will face Burkina Faso in the opening match on January 9 in Yaoundé, then Ethiopia and Cape Verde.
Senegal, another contender for the final victory, with its star Sadio Mané, are in Group B with Malawi, Guinea and Zimbabwe.
Ghana and Morocco will start as favorites in Group C against Gabon and Comoros.
Finally, in Group F, Tunisia will face Mali, Gambia, and Mauritania.
Nigeria’s chances of winning the AFCON title is quite slim as there are a lot of changes that have not been effected yet.
Some fans still don’t believe Gernot Rohr is the man to take the team to the next level even though we won bronze in the 2019 edition.
There are some players that should no longer be called up but they are still in the team. We do not have a quality goalkeeper since Vincent Enyeama retired from the National team.
The midfield department is still lacking creativity and the likes of Iwobi and Iheanacho have been drafted to the midfield to fill in the void.
There is a good defensive-midfield pairing with Ndidi and Etebo doing well for their respective clubs, but moving forward more needs to be done.
The attack of the Super Eagles is also a cause for concern. The players are doing amazing in their respective clubs with Iheanacho, Osimhen, and Onuachu firing on all cylinders.
However, they have not shown the same form when they are in the green and white jersey. There is no attacker in the team right now that can promise to score five goals in the tournament.
With the way the Super Eagles played against Cameroon and Mexico, it is difficult to believe this team can fight for the title.
Even in the defence, we are still struggling to have a steady goalkeeper as Maduka Okoye has not been impressive for a while. Our chances are quite slim and we might get knocked out in the quarter-finals.
Looking at the teams in the groups, it would be difficult to go past 7-time winners Egypt and Sudan are no pushovers either. Also going by the history of the Super Eagles and ‘smaller teams’, the Guinea-Bissau team would be very difficult to get past.
To improve Nigeria’s chances of winning the 4th title, a lot needs to be done. The defence needs to improve, there needs to be more creativity in the midfield and the attackers need to be clinical at all times.
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Source: Sports Brief News