Register Login Scores

PSL

Afcon Croup C Preview

Africa Cup of Nations Group C preview – Zambia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia.

Star of the group: Hervé Renard, Zambia

It’s easy to forget that the Zambian team that lifted Africa’s premiere trophy in February 2012 were not flooded with star performers – indeed, the majority of that side were based locally, with others scattered in obscure locations across the globe. 

 

The key figure in making the most of the unified assembly of Zambian talents was Renard, who meshed astute tactical awareness and humble man-management skills to produce an effective outfit. By promoting the team as the star, and fostering a trusting relationship with his players, the Frenchman pulled off a managerial masterclass to bring the cup back to Lusaka.

 

One to watch: Victor Moses, Nigeria

Moses has emerged as a crucial component of Nigeria’s frontline since making his international debut back in early 2012. Offering direct running, lightning pace and an eye for goal, he has all the attributes to be a quality performer. 

 

The Lagos-born frontman is sure to relish the challenge that Africa’s finest will pose after an impressive start to his Chelsea career.

 

Key matchup: Zambia v Nigeria, 25 January, Nespruit

The Afcon holders take on one of the continent’s true heavyweights in a match that could well decide who tops the group, thus potentially avoiding the Cote d’Ivoire in the Quarter-finals. 

 

2012 saw Zambia prove themselves as a group of players who thrive under pressure; a team for the big occasion. This game may see the Chipolopolo demonstrating their championship credentials once again. 

 

For Stephen Keshi and Nigeria however, it will be considered a major test – it is one thing running riot over Liberia in Calabar, another completely to best the champions of Africa in an international spectacle.

 

Absent friend: Peter Odemwingie, Nigeria

Despite his terrific start to the season with West Bromwich Albion, Odemwingie has been deemed surplus to requirements by Keshi. 

 

Trying to rationalise the omission of one of the nation’s finest players, some observers suggested that it was the striker’s attitude which had prompted the boss’s decision – speculation which was justified as the Uzbek-born frontman decided to publically lash out at the NFF following the squad’s announcement.

 

Whilst Odemwingie’s behaviour may have vindicated Keshi’s decision, the reality is that Nigeria will now be taking on the continent’s finest without one of their most naturally gifted players.

 

Soccer-Laduma prediction 

Nigeria and Zambia, with more quality and experience than their opposition, ought to qualify, whilst Burkina Faso and Ethiopia will contest the wooden spoon.

7 comments

Top 5

In Numbers: Dolly’s Chiefs Masterclass

78 Oct 18, 2021 08:25 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Pictures: How Messi Celebrated First PSG Goal

6 Sep 29, 2021 08:28 AM in UEFA Champions League

Patient Kwanda Comments On 'Tough' Bucs Debut

4 Oct 18, 2021 12:41 PM in Orlando Pirates

Players Clubs Can Still Sign For Free

1 Oct 01, 2021 10:28 AM in International

Rulani Slams Bafana: There’s No Data!

82 Oct 18, 2021 02:25 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

The 10 Biggest Stadiums In Africa

5 Oct 18, 2021 12:25 PM in African Football

13 New Players Appear On Newcastle's Shortlist

4 Oct 14, 2021 12:28 PM in English Premier League

Mabizela Plans For New Football Challenge?

13 Oct 17, 2021 12:03 PM in PSL

Shuffle, Junior, Shabba – The Amakhosi Legends Car Collection

9 Oct 15, 2021 01:13 PM in Stars & Their Cars

The Cost Of Not Hosting 'The Big Three'

31 Oct 18, 2021 04:12 PM in PSL

BREAKING! All The Ballon d'Or Nominees Revealed

5 Oct 08, 2021 06:33 PM in Ballon d’Or

Dolly’s Chiefs Transformation Explained

16 Oct 18, 2021 10:56 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

25 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

Pitso Breaks Silence Following R54m Contract Agreement

21 Oct 18, 2021 04:04 PM in Players Abroad