Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has taken another look at Friday’s draw ceremony for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, and reasoned that the toughest team to watch in Nigeria’s group are Guinea.
The Franco-German gaffer went on to declare that he and his players must be careful against the Guineans, ahead of the battle for which he says his side must be fit and prepare well for a tough fight.
While also acknowledging that the Eagles would do well not to in any way underrate the two debutants they will meet in Group B, Burundi and Madagascar, Rohr stressed that the real deal to watch out for is Guinea’s young and tough team.
At the draw ceremony conducted against the background of the Giza Pyramids in Cairo, all the 24 teams that qualified for the biggest Africa Cup of Nations so far in history were drawn into six groups of four teams each.
Of the Eagles’ three opponents in the group stage, Madagascar and Burundi are debutants, while Guinea, who picked silver ahead of Nigeria at the 1976 AFCON in Ethiopia and stopped the Eagles from going to the first-joint-hosted AFCON, 2012 in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, are making their 12th appearance.
Nigeria, who are going for their 18th appearance, will in the group phase battle the Syli Nationale of Guinea, Intamba Mu Rugamba of Burundi and president of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad’s country, Madagascar, who were the first team to qualify for the finals, all of which Rohr said are formidable.
Rohr said: “It is a tough group and we have to be at our best and our fittest.
“Guinea has a young, tough team and we will have to be at our best against them.
“Burundi eliminated Gabon even with their Pierre Aubameyang (while) Madagascar was the first team to qualify.
“It would be a great showpiece of football but it is important for our players to avoid injuries as the season heads towards the end.”