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

Nigeria vs Angola: Pre-Match Facts

  • Nigeria are the new favourites to win AFCON 2023 with the Opta supercomputer, while they are given a 55.5% chance of winning this tie inside 90 minutes.
  • This will be the first-ever encounter between Nigeria and Angola at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Nigeria and Angola last met in January 2018 at the African Nations Championship – a competition in which only players from each country’s domestic league can compete – with the Super Eagles winning 2-1 after extra time in the quarter-final.
  • Angola’s last victory against Nigeria was a World Cup qualifier in June 2004, which ended 1-0 thanks to the winning goal by Angola’s all-time top goalscorer Akwa.
  • Nigeria are playing in their 11th quarter-final match at the Africa Cup of Nations – no team has ever played in more games at this stage of the competition (Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tunisia also 11).
  • Nigeria have won their last three AFCON games without conceding, they’ve never won four consecutive matches in a single edition without conceding a goal.
  • Angola have won their last three matches at the Africa Cup of Nations – a fourth victory at AFCON 2023 would see them equal their total number of wins across all eight of their previous tournament appearances combined (P26 W4 D12 L10).
  • Angola have won their last two AFCON matches without conceding, they’ve never previously kept three consecutive clean sheets in the competition.
  • Following his second brace at AFCON 2023 – against Namibia last time out – Gelson Dala is the joint-top goal scorer (4) for Angola in a single edition of the tournament, along with Manucho (four goals in 2008).
  • If Dala scores a fifth goal at AFCON 2023 (joining top scorer Emilio Nsue), two players will have scored five or more goals in consecutive AFCON tournaments, after Karl Toko Ekambi (5) and Vincent Aboubakar (8) for Cameroon at AFCON 2021 – more than the number of players (3) that scored as many as five goals in the previous 10 editions between 2002 and 2019 (Samuel Eto’o in 2006 and 2008, Gedo in 2010 and Odion Ighalo in 2019, all five goals).
  • Ademola Lookman scored his first-ever Africa Cup of Nations goals (2) against Cameroon in the last 16. He could become the fourth Nigerian to score three or more goals in the knockout rounds of a single AFCON edition, after Ighalo in 2019 (4), Jay-Jay Okocha in 2004 (3) and Rashidi Yekini in 1994 (3).

Match Preview

Nigeria now carry the pressure of being favourites to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following the exit of many of the continents’ big guns before the quarter-final stage.

Ranked 42nd in the current FIFA Rankings, Nigeria are the highest-ranked side left in the competition following the exit of Morocco (13th), reigning champions Senegal (20th), Tunisia (28th), Algeria (30th) and Egypt (33rd). In comparison, Angola are the lowest-ranked team (117th) left at AFCON 2023 and will be out to cause one of the biggest shocks in recent memory at the tournament.

After a decent point to open AFCON 2023 against Algeria (1-1), Angola have now built up a three-game winning run at the tournament with victories over Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Namibia, but this tie with Nigeria is by far their biggest test yet.

Forward Gelson Dala has been in fine form, scoring four goals overall including a brace in the last-16 win over Namibia. Another goal for Dala in this match would ensure a piece of history, as he’d become the first Angolan to score as many as five goals at a single edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. Dala is also their most creative player, having created more than double the number of open-play chances of any other Angolan at the tournament (8), and he also has the highest expected assists total (0.47) in the squad.

Gelson Dala AFCON

They’ll have to keep out a Nigerian attack that is stacked with talent, though. No Nigerian striker is better known than Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, who’s both attempted the most shots (15) and has the highest non-penalty expected goals total (2.78) at this tournament. Those chances have produced just one goal so far, however, with Ademola Lookman the hero against Cameroon in the round of 16. The Atalanta forward scored both of their goals in the 2-0 win – his first-ever AFCON goals for Nigeria.

This should be an interesting tie for the neutral, with both teams happy to concede possession and play on the counter-attack so far at AFCON 2023. Both Nigeria (45.0%) and Angola (44.0%) have averaged less possession than their opponents, while both feature in the top four teams for shots from counter-attacks – Angola are level with South Africa on five, with Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea following on four.

AFCON 2023 Average Possession

Nigeria vs Angola Head-to-Head

Given that this is Nigeria’s 102nd match at an AFCON, it may come as a surprise to some that this will be the first time that they have met Angola at the tournament. Angola are relatively inexperienced compared to the Nigerians, with only 30 previous AFCON games under their belt, while this is just their third quarter-final appearance at the finals after defeats to Egypt in 2008 and Ghana in 2010.

Conversely, Nigeria are playing in a record 11th quarter-final tie at the Africa Cup of Nations – a tally level with Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Tunisia, who were unable to add to their totals in this tournament.

Angola’s last victory against Nigeria was a World Cup qualifier in June 2004, which ended 1-0 thanks to a goal from Angola’s all-time top-goal scorer Akwa.

Nigeria vs Angola Prediction

Nigeria vs Angola Prediction

Nigeria are predicted to advance to the semi-finals with a win over Angola in this AFCON quarter-final tie on Friday. Across 10,000 pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer, Nigeria won the tie inside 90 minutes 55.5% of the time with Angola winning under a quarter of them (22.6%). Extra time was needed in 21.9% of simulations, which also opens up the possibility of a penalty shootout.

Following the exit of pre-tournament AFCON favourites Senegal, Nigeria are now given the highest chance of winning the title, while Angola are outsiders among the final eight teams. Here are the current tournament projections for both Nigeria and Angola by the Opta supercomputer as things stand:

Nigeria vs Angola Squads

Angola: Neblú, Kadú, Gelson, António Signori, Eddie, Jonathan Buatu, Inácio Miguel, Tó Carneiro, Kialonda Gaspar, Kinito, Núrio Fortuna, Fredy, Bruno Paz, Manuel Keliano, Beni, Show, Estrela, Gelson Dala, Mabululu, Milson, Depú, Loide Augusto, Gilberto, Chico Banza, Jérémie Bela, Zine, Zito Luvumbo.

Coach: Pedro Gonçalves

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, Paul Onuachu, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman.

Coach: Jose Peseiro

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