AFCON: Can Nigeria ‘do it again’ without Ndidi, Boniface and Sadiq

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The 34th edition of the biggest football showdown in the continent, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will get underway from Saturday, 13th January – 11th February, 2024 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.

Nigerians Super Eagles will be making her 21st appearance in the continent’s football fiesta and would as well be gunning for Her fourth title having won first in 1980 on home soil, 1994 in Tunisia with the third crown coming ten years ago in South Africa 2013.

Nigeria who are looking to ‘Do it again’ in Cote d’Ivoire has been heavily dealt a huge blow with injury forcing several key players to withdraw from the championship. Leicester City inspirational midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi had to withdraw after he failed to recover on time from an injury with Royal Antwerp’s Alhassan Yusuf taking his place. Bayern Leverkuse’s Victor Boniface also had to withdraw after picking up an injury while in the camp at Abu Dhabi. His Bundesliga club has further confirmed he would be sidelined for three months.

The in-form striker has been replaced by OGC Nice’s Terem Moffi who is expected to link up with the squad after the first game on Sunday. Meanwhile Kelechi Iheanacho is currently fighting to be fit ahead of time for the competition.

The latest injury setback is Real Sociedad striker, Sadiq Umar who has been reportedly ruled out of the tourney after he sustained an injury in the last friendly match against Guinea in Abu Dhabi leaving the Eagles with only Victor Osimhen as the only outright striker left in camp.

The injury conundrum leaves us wondering if the Super Eagles still have enough wings to fly in Cote D’Ivoire.

Nigeria has been drawn in group A, alongside host Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea Bissau. The three times champions will begin their campaign on Sunday against Equatorial Guinea.

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