We look ahead to this AFCON 2023 last-16 tie at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan with our Nigeria vs Cameroon prediction and preview.

Nigeria vs Cameroon: Pre-Match Facts

  • Nigeria are predicted to beat Cameroon and advance to the AFCON 2023 quarter-finals by the Opta supercomputer, with the Super Eagles winning inside 90 minutes in 45.9% of simulations before kick-off.
  • A fixture that has been the AFCON final three times previously (1984, 1988 and 2000), Nigeria and Cameroon are set to face at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since doing so at this stage in 2019, with the Super Eagles winning 3-2 with goals from Odion Ighalo (2) and Alex Iwobi.
  • Cameroon won two of their first three Africa Cup of Nations matches against Nigeria (D1) but have since lost three of their last four (D1). Indeed, the Indomitable Lions have only lost more AFCON matches against Egypt (4) than they have against Nigeria (3).
  • For their 15th consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Nigeria have reached the knockout stages. Excluding third-place play-off matches, Nigeria have been eliminated in their last two knockout ties (2019 semi-finals, 2021 last 16) after winning four in a row beforehand.
  • Nigeria have won six of their last eight matches at the Africa Cup of Nations (D1 L1) but their only defeat in this sequence was in a 1-0 reverse against Tunisia at the last-16 stage in the 2021 edition.
  • Nigeria have both played in (40) and won (22) more matches in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations than any other nation.
  • Excluding own goals, each of Cameroon’s last 21 goals at the Africa Cup of Nations have been scored by players who were playing their club football in either Saudi Arabia (9) or France (12) at the time of scoring; the last player to do so for a non-French or Saudi club was Yaya Banana in 2019, who was playing in Greece.

Match Preview

Nigeria have reached the knockout stage of a 15th consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournament following their advancement from Group A. They could only manage second place on goal difference behind unexpected group winners Equatorial Guinea, but ahead of hosts Ivory Coast in third.

Indeed, only Egypt (44) have played more AFCON knockout matches than Nigeria (43), but it is Nigeria who have more knockout-stage wins than any other nation in the history of the tournament (23).

Across all teams in the AFCON 2023 group stage, no nation conceded a lower expected goals (xG) total to opponents than Nigeria (1.28), while they were just one of four teams to concede only one goal in their three matches. However, it was a similar tale at the last AFCON for Nigeria, where they conceded only one goal in three group stage matches but went on to lose in the last 16 1-0 to Tunisia.

Nigeria Defence AFCON

Much of their attacking threat in the group stage came via Napoli frontman Victor Osimhen, who had 13 shots and created four more chances – the most shot involvements by a Nigerian player at AFCON 2023 and the most by a Nigerian in an AFCON group stage on record (since 2010).

Cameroon head into the last 16 of AFCON 2023 thanks to a second-place finish in Group C behind reigning champions Senegal. They finished above third-place side Guinea on goals scored, but only qualified thanks to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Gambia on MD3. They found themselves 2-1 down in the 85th minute, before an own goal via James Gomez and an injury-time winner from Christopher Wooh sent them through. This was the only comeback win in the entire group stage of the tournament.

Georges-Kévin Nkoudou impressed for them in the group stage, with a tournament-high 10 chances created for teammates. This is the most by a Cameroonian player at the group stage of an AFCON tournament since Benjamin Moukandjo in 2017 (12).

Georges-Kévin Nkoudou Cameroon AFCON

They have reached the last 16 despite conceding more goals (6) than they scored (5) in the group stage – the first time that they have progressed from an AFCON group stage with a negative goal difference. Indeed, their six goals conceded were the most in a group stage at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament since 1996 (7).

Nigeria vs Cameroon Head-to-Head

This will be the eighth meeting between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, with three of those previous games being finals (1984, 1988 and 2000). Overall, Cameroon have only lost more AFCON matches versus Egypt (4) than they have against the Nigerians (3).

Since losing the 2000 AFCON final to Cameroon as host nation (4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw), Nigeria have won both of their meetings with the Indomitable Lions at AFCON. A 2-1 quarter-final victory in 2004 was followed by a 3-2 win over Cameroon at the 2019 tournament in the round of 16. Nigeria had fallen behind in that game, but Alex Iwobi scored a 66th-minute winner following an earlier brace from striker Odion Ighalo.

Their last international meetings came in a June 2021 friendly double-header across 4 June and 8 June. Cameroon won the first match 1-0 thanks to a goal via André-Frank Zambo Anguissa before a 0-0 draw in the second game.

Nigeria vs Cameroon Prediction

Nigeria vs Cameroon Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts that Nigeria will win this match inside 90 minutes and progress to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2023. They won 45.9% of the pre-match simulations run in normal time, compared to 28.9% by Cameroon.

Before a ball was kicked in the tournament, Nigeria were given an 8% chance of winning the tournament with Cameroon just behind on 7.4%. Both sides have seen their chances improve following their group stage exploits, plus the exits of teams like Algeria, Tunisia and Ghana before the knockout stages.

Here are the current tournament projections for both Nigeria and Cameroon by the Opta supercomputer as things stand:

Nigeria vs Cameroon Squads

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, Paul Onuachu.

Coach: Jose Peseiro

Cameroon: André Onana, Fabrice Ondoa, Dévis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu, Nouhou Tolo, Junior Tchamadeu, Oumar Gonzalez, Darlin Yongwa, Christopher Wooh, Harold Moukoudi, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Enzo Tchato, Malcom Bokélé, Yvan Neyou, Olivier Kemen, Frank Anguissa, Ben Elliott, Wilfried Nathan Douala, Olivier Ntcham, Karl Toko-Ekambi, Frank Magri, Vincent Aboubakar, Moumi Ngamaleu, Faris Moumbagna, Leonel Ateba, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, Clinton N’Jie.

Coach: Rigobert Song

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