The final round of group-stage games at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations begins in Group A. Here, we look ahead to one of them with our Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria prediction and preview.
Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria: Pre-Match Facts
- According to the Opta supercomputer, Nigeria are big favourites to win this one, coming out on top in 61.2% of the pre-game simulations.
- Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria are facing each other for a second time at the Africa Cup of Nations. In what was their only previous meeting at the tournament, Nigeria won 2-0 in 2022. As is the case this year, it was also their last group game.
- Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria find themselves in the same group for a third consecutive set of Africa Cup of Nations finals tournaments/qualification campaigns: 2022 AFCON (Nigeria finished top, Guinea-Bissau finished bottom), 2023 AFCON qualification (Nigeria finished top, Guinea-Bissau finished second) and now this tournament.
- This is Nigeria’s 100th match at the Africa Cup of Nations, becoming the fourth nation to reach that total after Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Of those four, only Egypt have won more of their first 100 (57) than Nigeria (55 currently), while the only team to win their 100th match was Ivory Coast – also against Guinea-Bissau at this tournament.
- Guinea-Bissau remain winless in all 11 of their AFCON matches (D3 L8), losing the last four in a row. They have never previously lost all three of their matches at a single AFCON tournament.
- Nigeria have won their final group stage match in 10 of their last 12 AFCON tournaments (D1 L1), with their one defeat in that time coming against Madagascar in 2019.
- Guinea-Bissau scored two goals from 13 shots (15.4%) in their 4-2 loss to Equatorial Guinea on MD 2 – they only scored two goals from their first 100 shots in their first 10 games at the Africa Cup of Nations beforehand (2%).
- Nigeria kept their 30th clean sheet in the Africa Cup of Nations group stages in their 1-0 win over hosts Ivory Coast on MD 2, becoming only the third team to reach that tally after Ghana and Egypt.
- Guinea-Bissau have already had more touches in the opposition box at the 2023 AFCON (30) than they had in either the 2022 (26) or 2019 (28) editions overall. Their 19 against Equatorial Guinea on MD 2 was their second most in an AFCON game, behind only the 26 they had vs Burkina Faso in 2017.
- William Troost-Ekong has scored two of Nigeria’s last three CAF Africa Cup of Nations goals, with one of those coming against Guinea-Bissau in 2022. He’s netted at three AFCON tournaments (2019, 2022, 2023), only the sixth Nigerian to do so and first since Yakubu (2002, 2008, 2010).
- Zé Turbo’s 90th-minute goal against Equatorial Guinea was the first scored by a Guinea-Bissau player at the Africa Cup of Nations since Piqueti in 2017 against Cameroon, with their other goal against the Elephants coming via an own goal.
Group A of AFCON 2023 reaches its climax on Monday as Guinea-Bissau play Nigeria at the same time as Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast do battle. With only one point separating the top three teams – Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Ivory Coast – and the potential for all three of them to qualify for the knockout stages, it’s all to play for here.
Bottom-placed Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, are already out of the tournament, having lost both of their first two games. Even a win wouldn’t allow them to overturn the three-point deficit to third-placed Ivory Coast, who beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 on Matchday 1 and therefore will remain above them in the standings with a superior head-to-head record.
Nigeria earned a narrow but crucial victory over Ivory Coast in their last game, soaking up pressure with only a 36% share of possession and facing 14 shots. However, those attempts only generated 0.57 xG, with Nigeria largely keeping their opponents at arm’s length and then punishing them at the other end thanks to William Troost-Ekong’s penalty, which did boost their own xG total.
A point for Nigeria would guarantee their passage into the knockouts, though with the four best third-placed teams from the six groups at AFCON 2023 also qualifying, the four points the Super Eagles have already accrued might be enough to see them through.
They will be confident of winning this one, though, up against a Guinea-Bissau team who have conceded six goals in two defeats at AFCON 2023. They have also never in their history won an AFCON game, losing eight and drawing three. They have lost their last four in a row, but they have never before lost all three of their group stage games, so defeat would secure an unwanted first for them on that front.
Nigeria will be hoping to celebrate their 100th AFCON game in this match with a win, becoming the fourth nation to reach that tally. Of the previous three, only one has won their 100th match, though that was Ivory Coast earlier on in this year’s tournament – against Guinea-Bissau.
With stars such as Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho to call upon, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a Nigeria win.
Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria Head-to-Head
This will be Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria’s second-ever meeting at AFCON, their first coming in the group stage at the last edition of the tournament. On that occasion, Nigeria ran out 2-0 victors on their way to a perfect record in Group D.
They were also in the same group for qualification for this tournament, though, so have played one another twice since the last AFCON. Both of those games ended in 1-0 away wins, so Guinea-Bissau do have some hope to cling to.
Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria Prediction
According to the Opta supercomputer, Nigeria are firm favourites to win this game and take a big step towards wrapping up top spot in Group A. They were victorious in 61.2% of the supercomputer’s pre-match simulations, while Guinea-Bissau won just 18.2%. That leaves the likelihood of the draw at 20.6%.
Nigeria are deemed most likely to top the group ahead of Equatorial Guinea, with whom they drew on MD 1, and currently trail in the group standings on goal difference. However, they face the easier final game on paper, playing a Guinea-Bissau side who have nothing but pride to play for.
Below are both teams’ current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:
Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria Squads
Guinea-Bissau: Ouparine Djoco, Jonas Mendes, Fernando Embadje, Sori Mané, Marcelo Djaló, Fali Candé, Jefferson Encada, Edgar Ié, Opa Sanganté, Nanu, Prosper Mendy, Houboulang Mendes, Nito Gomes, Dálcio, Zidane Banjaqui, Janio Bikel, Moreto Cassamá, Mauro Rodrigues, Alfa Semedo, Famana Quizera, Carlos Mané, Mama Baldé, Marciano Sanca, Zé Turbo, Carlos Gomes, Zinho Gano, Franculino Djú.
Coach: Baciro Candé
Nigeria: Olorunleke Ojo, Stanley Nwabali, Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Calvin Bassey, Bruno Onyemaechi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Alhassan Yusuf, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Umar Sadiq.
Coach: José Peseiro