Group A winners and AFCON 2023 surprise package Equatorial Guinea take on Guinea, who qualified as the best of the third-place teams, in the round of 16. We look ahead to the game with our Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea prediction and preview.
Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea: Pre-Match Facts
- The Opta supercomputer is predicting an Equatorial Guinea win in this match; they progressed to the quarter-finals within 90 minutes in 58.2% of our pre-match simulations.
- This will be the first ever Africa Cup of Nations meeting between Equatorial Guinea and Guinea. It will be the third time this tournament that Equatorial Guinea have faced a nation for the first time at AFCON; previously they drew 1-1 with Nigeria and won 4-2 vs Guinea-Bissau.
- For a fourth time this century, Guinea’s first AFCON match against an opponent has been in the knockout stages – they have lost each of the previous three (2-1 vs Mali in 2004, 5-0 vs Ivory Coast in 2008 and 1-0 vs Gambia in 2021).
- Equatorial Guinea have reached the knockout stages in all four of their AFCONs (2012, 2015, 2021 and 2023). Since the group stage was introduced in 1963, they are the only nation to play in more than one AFCON and reach the knockouts on every occasion.
- Guinea have lost their last six AFCON knockout games, failing to score in each of their last four, of which two came in the last 16 – in 2019 (3-0 vs Algeria) and 2021 (1-0 vs Gambia).
- Equatorial Guinea have scored nine goals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, only two fewer than they netted in their first three editions combined (11 goals in 15 games in 2012, 2015 and 2021). They’ve converted 36% of their efforts in 2023 (9/25) compared to just 8% in those three previous editions (11/143).
- Guinea have scored just four goals in their last eight AFCON matches (W2 D2 L4), never scoring more than once in any of these games.
- Equatorial Guinea have scored four goals in each of their last two AFCON games (4-2 vs Guinea-Bissau, 4-0 vs Ivory Coast), the first side to do so since Zambia in 1996; no side has ever done so in three successive AFCON games.
- Equatorial Guinea were the top-scoring team in the group stage with nine goals, and via an expected goals (xG) tally of 3.97 they posted the biggest difference between goals scored and xG coming into the knockouts (+5.03).
- José Machín has assisted in all three of his 2023 Africa Cup of Nations appearances for Equatorial Guinea. He is only the third player Opta has on record (2010 onwards) with an assist in three consecutive appearances at the AFCON, along with Yaya Touré (2012, Ivory Coast) and Martin Hongla (2022, Cameroon). No one has done so in four in a row in that time.
- Emilio Nsue has scored five goals at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations for Equatorial Guinea. Aged 34, he is the oldest player to ever score 5+ goals in a single AFCON tournament, with Kalusha Bwalya in 1996 for Zambia previously the oldest (five, aged 32). The only player to net more than five in a tournament aged 30+ is Egypt’s Hossam Hassan in 1998 (seven goals aged 31).
Equatorial Guinea have been the surprise package of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, having topped Group A ahead of AFCON heavyweights Nigeria and Ivory Coast, scoring nine goals in three games that included a 4-2 win over Guinea-Bissau and a 4-0 hammering of Ivory Coast, who are also the tournament’s hosts.
They were the AFCON 2023 group stage’s top scorers, more than playing their part in what is one of the highest-scoring and most entertaining AFCON tournaments ever. With their nine goals coming from just 3.97 xG, their overperformance compared to their xG of 5.03 was higher than any other team at the tournament. More of their shots from inside the box resulted in goals (seven) than did not (six).
They stormed into the knockout rounds, confirming their progression out of the group at AFCON once again; they have now made it into the knockouts at all four AFCON tournaments they have played in.
Guinea have more AFCON pedigree than their opponents here, but having scored just four goals in their last eight AFCON games and having lost each of their last six knockout games, the fact they have more experience at this stage of the tournament won’t count for much.
Guinea also only made it out of their group in third place, although it should be said they finished behind Senegal and Cameroon in a tough group. They were only beaten to second place by Cameroon on goals scored, and they ended the group stage with the best record of the third-placed teams.
They ended their group-stage campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Senegal, and were subjected to a third-place finish after Cameroon secured a dramatic late win over Gambia.
AFCON 2023’s top scorer, Equatorial Guinea striker Emilio Nsue – formerly of Birmingham and Middlesbrough – will be the man to stop from Guinea’s point of view. At 34 years of age, he is already the oldest player to reach five goals at an AFCON tournament; with one more goal, he would become only the second player ever aged 30+ to make it to six goals.
Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea Head-to-Head
This will be the first meeting at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament between Equatorial Guinea and Guinea.
Interestingly, though, this will be the third time at this tournament that Equatorial Guinea have faced an opponent for the first time at AFCON, drawing 1-1 with Nigeria and beating Guinea-Bissau 4-2.
Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea Prediction
Equatorial Guinea are favourites to win this one having come through a tough group as surprise winners. The Opta supercomputer gives them a 42.5% chance of victory, compared to 31.5% for Guinea.
In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions gave Equatorial Guinea just a 0.8% chance of winning the whole tournament. That has increased more than five-fold after such an impressive group stage.
Below are the current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 for both sides according to the Opta supercomputer:
Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea Squads
Equatorial Guinea: Aitor Embela, Manuel Sapunga, Jesús Owono, Saúl Coco, Basilio Ndong, Carlos Akapo, Esteban Orozco, Néstor Senra, Marvin Anieboh, Emilio Nsue, José Elo, Charles Ondo, Féderico Bikoro, José Machín, Santiago Eneme, Pablo Ganet, Álex Balboa, Jannick Buyla, Iban Salvador, José Miranda, Óscar Siafá, José Nabil, Salomón Obama, Noé Ela, Luís Asué.
Coach: Juan Michá
Guinea: Ibrahim Koné, Aly Keita, Moussa Camara, Mohamed Ali Camara, Sekou Sylla, Julian Jeanvier, Saïdou Sow, Mouctar Diakhaby, Antoine Conté, Issiaga Sylla, Ibrahim Diakité, Seydouba Cissé, Amadou Diawara, Naby Keïta, Mory Konaté, Ilaix Moriba, Abdoulaye Touré, Aguibou Camara, Mohamed Bayo, José Kanté, Serhou Guirassy, Morgan Guilavogui, Facinet Conté, Karim Cissé, François Kamano.
Coach: Kaba Diawara