Nigeria will aim to oust defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon when the teams meet in a round of 16 clash at the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday.
Nigeria’s return to the AFCON (for the first time since 2013) has not been an impressive one thus far, as they managed only a second-place finish in Group B.
The Super Eagles opened with a stuttering 1-0 win over debutants Burundi, were little better in beating Guinea by the same score line, and then succumbed to a shock 2-0 loss against Madagascar in their final group game on Sunday.
This has resulted in a much tougher last 16 clash against a fellow heavyweight, and coach Gernot Rohr will be ruing his side’s inability to offer much of a threat in attack – something they will have to address if they are to have any chance of coming through this clash against a Cameroon team which has yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
However, Nigeria have a habit of rising to the occasion when the pressure is on and they will look to the likes of Ola Aina, Wilfred Nidid and Odion Ighalo for inspiration.
Defending AFCON champions Cameroon have been defensively sound, but a lack of cutting edge from Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, Christian Bassogog and Karl-Toko Ekambi has undermined their campaign thus far.
Second place in Group F behind Ghana is no disgrace, but the Indomitable Lions will need to start roaring in the final third of the field if they are to live up to their moniker and keep alive their hopes of lifting the Nations Cup trophy again.
In head-to-head stats, Nigeria and Cameroon have met in 22 previous matches. The Super Eagles have claimed 11 wins compared to four for the Indomitable Lions, while seven games have been drawn.
The teams’ most recent meeting was a World Cup qualifier in Yaounde in September 2017 which ended in a 1-1 draw, with goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Moses Simon.
The winners of this match will advance to face either Egypt or South Africa in the quarterfinals on July 10 in Cairo.