AFCON 2013: Nigeria v Burkina Faso Preview
On the first days of matches for Group C Nigeria face Burkina Faso in Nelspruit. Burkina Faso may have gone 17 matches without a win in the tournament but there is an air of optimism about their squad, particularly with the likes Aristide Bance and Alain Traore leading their attack. Nigeria have typically been a force to be reckoned with in African national football and many of their players have made names for themselves in the Premier League but they missed out on the tournament last year. Fans will be hoping this will spur their side on to the kind of performance they expect to see from a good squad of players.
The bookies are firmly behind Nigeria for this fixture and clearly feel that their quality will prove too much for Burkina Faso with stanjames offering odds of 8/11 on Nigeria taking all three points. A draw being the final outcome has odds of 13/5 from Ladbrokes. Alternatively, a surprise win for the less experience Burkina Faso side has odds of 9/2 from paddypower.
Burkina Faso may have qualified for eight of the last ten Africa Cup of Nations tournaments but they have only made it out of the group once and that was when they were hosts in 1998 and had the support of the country behind them all the way. In last year’s tournament they bowed out at the group stages without even collecting a point and they are desperate to avoid a repeat of that. williamhill have odds of 13/2 on a routine 2-0 win for Nigeria and the same odds of the outcome being a 1-1 draw. Alternatively, if you reckon Burkina Faso might cause an upset with a 1-0 victory then stanjames will offer you odds of 10/1.
Neither sides have suffered any injury setbacks since picking their squads although it remains to be seen whether Victor Moses and Alain Traore, absolutely key men for Nigeria and Burkina Faso respectively, will be fit for this fixture. In the absence it may be a lower scoring affair and ladbrokes have odds of 8/13 on under 2.5 goals being scored. They also have odds of 6/5 on over 2.5 goals being scored, whereas coral are offering odds of 7/2 on over 2.5 goals being scored.
Of the two squads it is Nigeria’s that contains far more familiar names to fans of the European game and this reflects the greater quality and history as a footballing nation that Nigeria can call upon. Chelsea’s Moses has odds of 2/1 on finding the net from bet365. Alternatively, bet365 are also offering odds of 8/5 on Uche scoring and odds of 21/10 on Emenike doing so. For Burkina Faso, Alain Traore has odds of 11/4 on finding the net from williamhill, although whether or not he will be fit is another matter. bet365 are offering odds of 7/1 on Bance getting a goal, whereas paddypower have odds of 9/2 on Nakoulma getting a goal for his side.
The match kicks off at 18:00 GMT on January 21st.