The Africa Cup of Nations 2021 (AFCON2021) has reached the round of 16 after a very exciting group stage phase full of surprises, disappointments and affirmations. One of those affirmations are Nigeria, as they where one of the main candidates for the tournament before the start.

International Nigerian ex-professional footballer Augustine Owen Eguavoen is the person in charge of the Super Eagles. He is doing a magnificent job so far, as Nigeria are the only team that have been able to win all the games of their group stage.

He has pulled this off through a consistent playing style in both boxes (six goals scored, only one conceded) based on a 4-4-2 system. Eguavoen has very talented players in all the lines: William Troost-Ekong in defense, Wilfred Ndidi in the midfield and Kelechi Iheanacho forward.

These three players are well-known in the Premier League. Troost-Ekong is a starter at Watford, while Ndidi and Iheanacho stand out at Leicester.

In fact, their starting XI is full of quality: Ola Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon and Taiwo Awoniyi are all key players in European elite clubs.

Specific, Moses Simon is among the best players of the competition. The ex player for Levante and current striker at Nantes shines with his dribbling and offensive production. He has completed 15 out of 17 dribbles, even after starting from the bench in one of their three games.

Nigeria will take on Tunisia in the next round, a national team that have lost two games and won the other one so far. Having seen the level from both teams, the Super Eagles shouldn’t have any problems to advance.

In fact, their side on the possible rivals they might face from now on looks more accesible, as all the other main candidates to lift the title (Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Morocco) are on the other one. Senegal is expected to be the toughest opponent for Nigeria. However, their poor performing until now decreases their threat.

This way, Eguavoen’s team is a serious candidate to win the competition. Maybe, due to the distribution of the rivals to take on until the final, they might be the main one. However, if there is something characteristic from this Africa Cup of Nations, that is the multiple surprises that are taking place. Let’s see if Nigeria fulfills the expectations.

Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.

Main image: Twitter @NGSuperEagles

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