GOtv Preview: Nigeria begin Afcon campaign against debutants Burundi

Nigeria will begin their 18th Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt against debutants Burundi on Saturday.

After missing the last two editions, the Super Eagles are back on the continental stage for the first time since they won their third Afcon title in 2013.

Nigeria had an impressive run in the qualifiers after bouncing back from their only defeat to South Africa in 2017, to advance to the Afcon finals with a record of four wins and a draw as group winners.

However, the Super Eagles failed to score a goal in their two build-up games to the tournament, settling for a goalless draw against Zimbabwe and a 1-0 loss to Senegal, but they will hope to fire on all cylinders against the Swallows.

The return of captain John Obi Mikel, who has been absent from international duty since June 2018, is expected to boost Gernot Rohr's side, alongside the nine forwards in the team, including Odion Ighalo, who was the top scorer during the qualification round with seven goals.

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Burundi, on their part, had decent run to the Afcon finals by holding Algeria to a 1-1 draw, before bowing to a 2-1 loss to Tunisia in their final build-up match.

Olivier Niyungeko's side qualified for their maiden appearance in the continental competition as Group C runners-up behind Mali, after holding Gabon to a 1-1 draw in their final qualifying game.

Former Stoke City attacker Saido Berahino remains the major threat to the Super Eagles’ defence, not leaving out Cedric Amissi and Fisston Abdul Razak, who played starring roles in Burundi’s qualification for the Afcon finals, with the latter finishing as the second top scorer in the qualifiers behind Ighalo, with six goals.

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