Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2019 match:
All eyes will be on Cairo International Stadium when Algeria and Nigeria face each other in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semis. Algeria defeated Ivory Coast on penalties, with top scorer Adam Ounas scoring the winner. The Napoli rising star has been producing splendid displays at the tournament in Egypt, but, as always, all eyes will be on Manchester City ace Riyad Mahrez, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders.
The Super Eagles, on the other hand, booked their place in the 2019 AFCON semis by beating South Africa 2-1, but the Algerians are likely to pose a much bigger threat for Alex Iwobi and Co. than their previous rivals. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards in Cairo and we predict that the two countries are going to play out a draw in 90 minutes. In their last meeting in a competitive match the two teams shared the spoils (1-1).
Highlighted Player (Aissa Mandi):
Aissa Mandi is a product of Reims’ youth school. After playing eight matches for Reims II in the 2009/2010 season, he started playing for the first team in 2010. Mandi made his Reims debut against Le Havre on 20 August, 2010 and he remained at Stade Auguste Delaune until 30 June, 2016, when he decided to join Spanish side Real Betis.
The Algeria international, who was born in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, signed a five-year contract with los Beticos which expires on 30 June, 2021. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back as well. The right-footed defender made his Algeria debut on 5 March, 2014 and he helped the Algerian national team keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Slovenia.
Mandi impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but he scored his first goal for Algeria in a 3-3 draw with Ethiopia in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. He represented Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well.
Highlighted Team (Nigeria):
Nigeria is an African national football team controlled by Nigeria Football Federation. The Super Eagles are well known for their green and white kits, but they played some descent football in the past as well. The Nigerians did well to qualify for six of last seven World Cup finals (as of 2018), with the team reaching the last six of the showpiece tournament three times.
Jay-Jay Okocha, Taribo West and Nwankwo Kanu are the most famous footballers that played for Nigeria. The Super Eagles played their first official match back in October 1949 while still a Brittish colony and it has to be noted that they were ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings in April 1994, which remains the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by a national team from Africa.
Speaking of the African Cup of Nations, Nigeria won the tournament on three occasions: 1980, 1994 and 2013, with the team finishing as runners-up in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000.