The build-up to Nigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations clash against Guinea was loaded with drama.
Players refused to face the media and showed up late for training due to not being paid some of the money they had been promised.
Officials later said that the matter had been resolved. The money
owed to players was for daily allowances and for their win against Burundi.
But there is some good news for the Super Eagles.
Samuel Kalu, who collapsed during training last week due to
severe dehydration, is fully fit to play in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations
game against Guinea, coach Gernot Rohr confirmed.
“The very good news is that Kalu did again yesterday in
Cairo an MRI and it is now 100% sure that he is fit and he will be available
for the game,” he said.
“He already started training with the team so we are
happy about that because everybody was a little bit scared when this
The Bordeaux player was rushed to hospital Friday suffering
from severe dehydration due to severe heat. Temperatures expected to hover
between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month in Egypt.
He missed Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Burundi on Saturday in the
opening match in Group B in Alexandria
Guinea, meanwhile, will be bolstered by the return of Naby
Hurt during the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League
semi-final showdown with Barcelona, Keita spent nearly two months out before
making his comeback in the final 30 minutes of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with a
“He gives a lot, he’s a leader in his own way. We need
him. He helps us benefit from his experience in big matches. It’s a bonus to have
him,” forward Sory Kaba, scorer of the first goal against Madagascar, told
Guinea drew 2-2 against Madagascar. While still favourites
to advance from their group, not losing is as important as a win.
Prediction, head-to-head and TV stream
It’s a tight call. Nigeria’s probability of winning is bang on 50%. The draw is at 31% while Guinea have a mere 19% chance of winning.
The two sides have met 17 times. Nigeria have won five and Guinea have won five. The seven other matches ended in a draw. Their most recent meeting was in 2011. That ended in a 2-2 draw.
Where and what time
Kick off is at 16:30 SAST.
In Africa, SuperSport 4 and 10 will broadcast the match and
the opening ceremony.
Elsewhere: Eurosport Player (UK) and beIN Sports Connect
Additional reporting by AFP.