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HomeAfricaIvory CoastEx South Africa Captain Snubs Bafana Bafana, Picks Nigeria As AFCON Favourite

Ex South Africa Captain Snubs Bafana Bafana, Picks Nigeria As AFCON Favourite

Chukwu Ikechukwu

January 31, 2024 at 3:51 PM

  • Dean Furman has backed Nigeria to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • The Super Eagles could potentially face South Africa in a semi-final tie
  • Nigeria are bidding to win the Nations Cup trophy for the fourth time

Former Bafana Bafana captain, Dean Furman has picked Nigeria as the overwhelming favourite to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations ahead of his home nation, South Africa.

Hugo Broos’ men caused one of the biggest upsets in the tournament by ousting 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists, Morocco 2-0 in the Round of 16 and could potentially meet Nigeria in the semi-finals.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, AFCON 2023, South Africa, Bafana Bafana
Nigeria are the highest-ranked team remaining at the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. Photo by Anadolu.
Source: Getty Images

According to All Nigeria Soccer, Furman is impressed at how the Super Eagles have handled their games after three consecutive victories and is tipping them to go all the way and win the title.

“The so-called big nations, the fancied nation Nigeria are going about their work in an understated fashion but I think they are ticking on really nicely so I would have them down as the favourites right now.”

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Nigeria defeated hosts Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, and Cameroon in their last three games and will tackle the surprise team of the tournament, Angola, in the quarter-final on Friday, February 2.

Victor Osimhen returns to training

Meanwhile, Nigeria have been handed a major boost ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final tie against Angola after Victor Osimhen and Stanley Nwabali returned to training, Complete Sports reports.

The two stars had missed the Super Eagles’ first training session after their Round of 16 victory against Cameroon, prompting panic among supporters of the three-time AFCON winners.

Nwabali, however, is not guaranteed to be fit for the clash with the Black Antelopes, as the team’s medics have suggested the goalkeeper will need to pass a late fitness test to make the squad.

Nwabali shares update on injury

Sports Brief previously reported that Nigeria’s Nwabali shared a cryptic statement on social media, alluding to his potential readiness for the quarter-final versus Angola.

The Chippa United goalie suffered a knee injury during a collision with forwardm Georges-Kevin Nkoudou during their pulsating Round of 16 match against rivals, Cameroon.

The diagnosis of the 27-year-old’s injury has been a hot topic among Super Eagles fans, especially after a video leaked on social media showing Nwabali resuming his training.