Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea: 5 key players to watch

Nigeria face Equatorial Guinea in the second game of Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) on Sunday. Here are five players to watch out for in the tie.

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea key players

Victor Osimhen 

Victor Osimhen is expected to star in the Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea game
Photo by Icon Sport

The Napoli forward comes into the competition as Africa's Player of the Year which has spiked expectations from from fans in Nigeria and in the diaspora.

He was the top scorer in the AFCON qualifiers with 10 goals and will look to replicate the same in Ivory Coast.

Osimhen's rise to the top has been phenomenal with his heroics and goals for Napoli a testament to that. He is the focal point in Nigeria's attack as he looks to break his Nations Cup duck.

Osimhen was a peripheral figure in Nigeria's 2019 campaign in Egypt as Odion Ighalo took all the shine and then missed the last edition in Cameroon due to injury. 

Big, strong and athletic, he will bring the energy to the Super Eagles‘ attack against Equatorial Guinea.

Ademola Lookman

The Atalanta forward is usually one of the first men on Jose Peseiro's list these days playing either from the left flank or the right of the attack.

Lookman, 26, has been in good form for his club in Serie A notching up seven goals and three assists.

He usually operates wide in a front three in Peseiro's favourite 4-3-3 formation.

Since his switch to Nigeria from England, Lookman has scored two goals for Nigeria in 12 matches.

If he brings his A game against Equatorial Guinea, then a lot of goal-scoring chances are guaranteed through his pace and trickery.

Saul Coco

The centre-back will be pivotal for Equatorial Guinea against a rampant Nigeria attack on matchday. The 24-year-old is the only player, among a bevvy of players in Equatorial Guinea who play in Spain, to be a regular in La Liga.

He currently plays for Las Palmas whom he helped gain promotion to the top flight last season as the finished second to win automatic promotion.

Strong in the air and not afraid to get into tackles, the centre-back was instrumental to Equatorial Guinea's run to the quarter-final of the last Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon where he played all the games.

Photo by Icon Sport

Alex Iwobi

Barring any injury, Fulham's Alex Iwobi will start for Nigeria and will be the creative spark for the Eagles.

The former Arsenal man has been morphed into a move creative central role in midfield for Nigeria since the Portuguese took over.

Iwobi has improved his game, especially this season with Fulham as he now has the confidence to kneed passes and also gets into goal-scoring positions—something that became stifled while at Everton. 

Peseiro will rely on him to unlock defences and deliver defence-splitting passes for the attack to feed on.

Emilio Nsue

A cult hero in Equatorial Guinea and probably their best player in the last decade, Nsue is the captain and the most experienced member of the team.

Now 34, he plays in the Spanish lower divisions with Intercity FC in the Primera Federacion but it has done nothing to slow him down in the colours of the national side.

He has been in great form recently for the national team scoring in his last four appearances and he has racked up 39 caps with the national team and scoring 17 goals.

As captain of the Nzalang National, the former Spanish youth international is poised to play a pivotal role for team when they face the Super Eagles in their first group game.

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea: 5 key players to watch
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.