Africa is on the threshold of AFCON 2023, with the draw set for Thursday, October 12, at the Parc des Expositions d'Abidjan in Abidjan.
Twenty-four countries will be in the pool for the AFCON 2023 draw. The 24 qualifying nations hope to get the rub of the green during the AFCON 2023 draw.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are one of the favourites to win the tournament in January 2024 hosted by Ivory Coast.
The draw will involve four pots of six countries, with the Super Eagles in Pot 2. It means the Nigerian side will draw at least one of Africa's heavyweights.
So, after the AFCON 2023 draws in Ivory Coast, who will the Super Eagles look to avoid? Who is their biggest nightmare?
— LEADERSHIP NEWS (@LeadershipNGA) October 11, 2023
AFCON 2023 draw: Super Eagles fiercest rivals
AFCON 2023 draw Pot 1 includes Egypt, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
The Super Eagles will draw one of them. Which one will be a favourable draw for the Nigerian side?
Nigeria vs Egypt
Nigeria has met four times in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian national side won two, drew one and lost the other.
Their first meeting was in 1976, with the Green Eagles winning 3-2. Two goals by Haruna Ilerika saw to the victory, while their latest victory was a 1-0 win in the last AFCON.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs EGYPT|
|14 Mar 1976||Nigeria v Egypt||W||3-2|
|15 Mar 1980||Nigeria v Egypt||W||1-0|
|14 Mar 1984||Nigeria v Egypt||W||2-2 (8-7)|
|20 March 1988||Nigeria v Egypt||D||0–0|
|05 Mar 1990||Nigeria v Egypt||W||1-0|
|30 Mar 1994||Egypt v Nigeria||D||0-0|
|12 Jan 2010||Egypt v Nigeria||L||3-1|
|11 Jan 2022||Nigeria v Egypt||W||1-0|
Nigeria vs Tunisia
Tunisia is another formidable foe for the Super Eagles. With the AFCON draws around the corner, the Tunisian side is one they will want to avoid.
Whenever these two sides clash, it has never been easy for either side.
They have clashed five times at AFCON, with the Super Eagles winning and drawing two. They lost one, with the loss coming in the 2022 AFCON.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs TUNISIA|
|16 Mar 1978||Tunisia v Nigeria||W||1-1 (2-0)|
|23 Jan 2000||Nigeria v Tunisia||W||4-2|
|11 Feb 2004||Tunisia v Nigeria||L||1-1 (5-3)|
|04 Feb 2006||Nigeria v Tunisia||W||1-1|
|23 Jan 2022||Nigeria v Tunisia||L||0-1|
The Total Energies AFCON 2023 draw takes stage today in Ivory Coast.
Nigeria is in pot 2 and will face one team from pot 1, 3 and 4 in the group stage.
What do you make of this group.
◉ Morocco 🇲🇦
◉ South Africa 🇿🇦
◉ Nigeria 🇳🇬
◉ Angola 🇦🇴
Who will make it out 🤔💭? pic.twitter.com/zrkMeb3NUj
— Leagues Reporter (@LeaguesReporter) October 12, 2023
Nigeria vs Algeria
The two countries have a rich history, with the Desert Foxes edging Nigeria in their head-to-head ahead of the AFCON 2023 draw.
The Super Eagles have played against the Algerians eight times and won three, drew one and lost four.
It is worth noting that the Super Eagles have lost their last four encounters against Algeria in all competitions.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs ALGERIA|
|10 Mar 1982||Nigeria v Algeria||L||1-2|
|11 Mar 1984||Nigeria v Algeria||D||0-0|
|23 Mar 1988||Nigeria v Algeria||W||1-1|
|02 Mar 1990||Algeria v Nigeria||L||5-1|
|16 Mar 1990||Algeria v Nigeria||L||1-0|
|21 Jan 2002||Algeria v Nigeria||W||0-1|
|30 Jan 2010||Nigeria v Algeria||W||1-0|
Nigeria vs Senegal
Despite the plethora of talent available to the Teranga Lions of Senegal, the Super Eagles have a good record against them at AFCON.
Nigeria has only lost once to Senegal at AFCON. The loss came in 2002, with Nigeria losing 2-1.
An extra-time goal by Salif Diao gave the Senegalese victory.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs SENEGAL|
|12 Jan 1992||Senegal v Nigeria||W||1-2|
|07 Feb 2000||Nigeria v Senegal||W||2-1|
|07 Feb 2002||Nigeria v Senegal||L||1-2|
|31 Jan 2006||Nigeria v Senegal||W||2-1|
|09 Feb 2006||Senegal v Nigeria||W||0-1|
Nigeria vs Morocco
Against the Atlas Lions of Morocco, the Super Eagles have a fair record.
The three-time African champions have met against the North Africans. They lost three times, with two wins.
The most memorable was the 1976 AFCON, where the Green Eagles lost twice. Nigeria lost the first game 3-1 in the group phase and 2-1 in the final phase.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs MOROCCO|
|06 Mar 1976||Morocco v Nigeria||L||3-1|
|11 Mar 1976||Morocco v Nigeria||L||2-1|
|19 Mar 1980||Nigeria v Morocco||W||1-0|
|03 Feb 2000||Nigeria v Morocco||W||2-0|
|27 Jan 2004||Nigeria v Morocco||L||0-1|
Nigeria vs Ivory Coast
Nigeria also has a chequered history against the Elephants of Ivory Coast. They will fancy their chances against the host nation, who they have beaten three times in six meetings.
However, the situation this time is different. Ivory Coast is the host, and many top countries would want to avoid them.
Super Eagles' most famous victory against the Elephants was in 1994, where the Super Eagles won via penalties after a pulsating 2-2 draw.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs IVORY COAST|
|12 Mar 1980||Nigeria v Ivory Coast||D||0-0|
|08 Mar 1990||Nigeria v Ivory Coast||W||1-0|
|06 Apr 1994||Nigeria v Ivory Coast||W||2-2 (5-3)|
|07 Feb 2006||Nigeria v Ivory Coast||L||0-1|
|21 Jan 2008||Ivory Coast v Nigeria||L||1-0|
|03 Feb 2013||Ivory Coast v Nigeria||W||1-2|
AFCON 2023 draws: Other countries Nigeria might want to avoid
Nigeria vs South Africa
The Bafana Bafana might not be a team to put the jitters in Nigeria, but they have created a rivalry against Nigeria that makes every encounter fierce.
The Super Eagles have never lost an AFCON game to the Bafana Bafana. On the three occasions they clashed, the Super Eagles won.
Nigeria has nothing to fear against South Africa except overconfidence, as they have lost only twice against Bafana Bafana in 14 encounters from all competitions.
|AFCON: NIGERIA vs SOUTH AFRICA|
|10 Feb 2000||Nigeria v South Africa||W||2-0|
|31 Jan 2004||Nigeria v South Africa||W||4-0|
|10 Jul 2019||Nigeria v South Africa||W||2-1|
With the AFCON 2023 draw around the corner, the Super Eagles are a massive force in Africa and should be dreaded.
Based on records, the North Africans are their worst nightmare, with Egypt, Morocco and Algeria teams they would want to avoid.
Cameroon is another team the Super Eagles do not have it easy against, but they're both in Pot 2 and will not end up in the same group.
Besides the North Africans and Cameroon, Ghana is Nigeria's worst nightmare, in all competitions. They have posed problems to Nigeria every time they have met.
Fortunately, Ghana is in the same pot as Nigeria and will not be in the same group at AFCON 2023.
Egypt, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria
Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, DRC, Ghana
South Africa, Cape Verde, Guinea, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania
Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, Gambia, Tanzania
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago