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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score||Odds|
|Nigeria Win and Both to Score||+400
|Nigeria Win to Zero||+125
Back a Nigeria win to zero in the Draft Kings sportsbook.
Tunisia failed to score in two of their three group games and could exit the tournament with a whimper.
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Nigeria’s preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations were not exactly ideal. Gernot Rohr looked like he was going to cling onto his job despite some disappointing results in World Cup qualifiers in October and November, including a defeat by the Central African Republic and a draw with Cape Verde. Nigeria qualified for the next stage of the process by a slender two-point margin but Rohr remained in charge until the middle of last month when he was finally relieved of his duties.
Nigeria have already confirmed that Jose Peseiro will take charge of the national team after the Cup of Nations. For now, Augustine Eguavoen is leading the team on an interim basis – and he has done a fine job so far. Nigeria are the only side in the competition with a 100 per cent record after the group phase. The Super Eagles have won each of their three games so far and are now the third-favorites to win the trophy, up from the fourth place in the pre-tournament odds.
Nigeria beat Egypt 1-0 in their opening encounter, with Kelechi Iheanacho’s strike after 30 minutes proving the difference between the two sides. Nigeria’s backline did a good job of neutralizing the threat of Mohamed Salah, the tournament’s biggest star, and they could easily have scored more than once. It was a statement of intent from the Super Eagles, who went on to beat Sudan 3-1 and Guinea-Bissau 2-0. Their +5 goal difference was another group stage high.
There is still a long way to go in the tournament, and we have seen in previous editions that the most impressive team early on does not always go on to lift the trophy. For now, though, Nigeria are in a very good place.
Only eight teams failed to qualify for the round of 16, which begins with Burkina Faso vs Gabon on Sunday morning. In the end Tunisia scraped through as one of the four best third-place finishers, despite losing two of their three games. Mondher Kebaier’s side thrashed Mauritania 4-0 in their second encounter, either side of which they were beaten 1-0 by Mali and Gambia.
Tunisia reached the semi-finals in 2019, ending a run of seven successive tournaments in which they failed to advance beyond the last eight. In recent years the Eagles of Carthage have often left watchers of the African game wanting more.
A conservative, safety-first mindset has arguably stopped Tunisia fulfilled their potential, and the fact they scored in only one of their three group games suggests their best chance of going all the way in Cameroon is by keeping things tight at the back.
Tunisia have certainly not been helped by an outbreak of Covid-19, which saw 12 players test positive ahead of the game with Gambia. It is not yet clear how many of those will be available this weekend, but it will take a monumental effort for Tunisia to beat Nigeria if they are again without a dozen members of their squad.
Even if Tunisia were at full strength, Nigeria would be the favorites. This team looks to have a promising balance between defense and attack. They have spread the goals around so far, with six different players responsible for their six goals. Nigeria did not miss their absent attackers – Victor Osimhen, Emmanuel Dennis, Odion Ighalo and Paul Onuachu – in the group phase, while the midfield partnership of Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo is one of the strongest in Cameroon.
Nigeria have an excellent record against Tunisia in recent years. They have not lost to the Eagles of Carthage within 90 minutes since 1997, although they were defeated by Tunisia on penalties at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. With Kebaier set to be without a number of key players, Tunisia will have to dig deep to stop Nigeria going through. They are likely to pack men behind the ball and mount sporadic counter-attacks whenever possible, but the Super Eagles should have enough attacking craft to break down their deep defense.
You might be wondering why we advise against betting the moneyline on this occasion. The reason is that odds of -115 on a straightforward Nigeria win are not particularly enticing, and better value can be found elsewhere. If you would like to familiarize yourself with how to bet on soccer, check out our comprehensive guide.
For this match, opt for a Nigeria win to zero. Tunisia have been uninspiring going forward and will be missing several regular starters, while their tendency toward caution means they will struggle to find the net against strong opposition.
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|Nigeria vs Tunisia Information|
|Teams||Nigeria vs Tunisia|
|Location||Stade Roumde Adjia, Garoua, Cameroon|
|Time||Sunday, 23 January 2022, 14.00 PM EST|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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