Former boss of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Col. Abdulmumuni Aminu (rtd), fancies the chances of the Super Eagles beating defending champions, Egypt, when both sides clash in their African Nations Cup opener on January 12.
The Nations Cup gets underway this weekend in Angola as 16 teams battle to be crowned the continentâ€™s soccer king in what promises to be a prelude to the main action at the 2010 World Cup holding this summer in South Africa.
With five of the six teams that would be representing Africa at the World Cup set to field strong squads in Angola, the battleline has been firmly drawn, with Egypt, who missed out on a World Cup place seeking atonement through the Nations Cup, baying for blood against Nigeria, who barely managed to scrape through to Rainbow nation on the last day of the qualification series.
But Egyptâ€™s title aspirations are somehow being threatened by the injuries setbacks which have hit several of their star players, comprising, Mohamed Aboutrika, Amir Zaki and lately, Mohamed Zidan, a trio, which contributed a great deal to their title defence two years ago in Ghana.
It is against this setting that Aminu, who was in charge of the NFF, whenÂ the Eagles campaigned at the 1998 World Cup in France, has told coach Shaibu Amodu-tinkered side to capitalise on Egyptâ€™s misfortunes, if they are to make headway at the tournament.
Eaglesâ€™ other group opponents are Mozambique and Benin Republic, with the two best placed finished qualifying for the next round.
â€œIt is not as if one is happy with what is happening to Egyptian players, most of whom, are down with injuries and may not be fit for the Nations Cup but this is an opportunity for our players toÂ take advantage of whatever opportunity that comes their way and see to it that they beat whoever they face,” AminuÂ said.