Egypt will look to claim the major scalp of perennial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) challengers Nigeria when the teams meet in their opening Group D match at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua on Tuesday 11 January 2022, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
The Pharaohs’ are seven-time AFCON champions (most recently in 2010) and crashed out at the last eight in 2019.
Talisman and skipper of Egypt, Mo Salah has admitted that they will face a good side on Tuesday.
“Both teams have good players, they have the chance to win. We will do our best to win tomorrow,” the ex Roma winger began during a World Press Conference attended by Futbalgalore.com.ng on Monday afternoon.
The confrontation between the two teams will be an early finale as each side has a great history in the tournament.
Nigeria skipper Ahmed Musa declared that they won’t be thinking about facing Salah as they have their own variety of skilled players.
“I don’t think there is need to reply him because he is someone I respect so much. Super Eagles have a good team but we would do our best to defeat them,” Salah continued.
The Liverpool man also stated he is under pressure to win the AFCON.
“This is the title I am yet to win. I have always wanted to win something for Egypt. The team always comes first and we can do something this time around. We have a good coach and good team. We will do our best to make our people proud. There is pressure playing for Egypt.”
On his fan base, he added: “I am quite impressed and proud to have fans all over the world.”
Egypt are the AFCON’s most successful nation, with a record seven titles to their name (the most recent in 2010). They were runners-up as recently as 2017, while their run as hosts in the last tournament in 2019 ended in disappointment with a round of 16 exit.
This time around the Pharaohs are hopeful that coach Carlos Queiroz can harness the undoubted quality at their disposal – including arguably the best player in the world this season in Salah – as they chase an eighth continental crown.
In head-to-head stats, Nigeria and Egypt have met in 18 matches across all competitions since 1960, with the Super Eagles claiming eight wins compared to five for the Pharaohs, while five games have been drawn.
The teams last met in an international friendly in March 2019 in Asaba, with Nigeria claiming a 1-0 home win thanks to an early goal from Paul Onuachu.