Taribo says he can’t vouch for Eagles winning AFCON

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Former Nigeria international Taribo West says he will not put his money on the Super Eagles winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

In an interview with The PUNCH, the former Auxerre and Inter Milan strong man insisted that based on his assessment of some of the countries going to the tournament, it would be difficult to place his bet on the Eagles claiming a fourth African title in Egypt.

The Eagles face debutants Madagascar, Burundi and Guinea in Group B of the tournament with Nigerians opening their campaign against Burundi in Alexandria on June 22.

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 “It’s going to be a difficult Nations Cup, one that will spring lots of surprises. When it comes to the group stage, I see Nigeria qualifying with ease, the country has a good team but I can’t vouch for them winning the Africa Cup of Nations,” Taribo stated.

“It’s possible to win the Nations Cup but there are no more minnows in football. Countries like Madagascar, Tanzania, and Burundi will always want to prove a point because if you watch their qualifying series, you will see that you have to up your game to beat any team.”

Hosts Egypt will be hoping to win the tournament on home soil after failing to clinch the trophy at the 2017 edition in Gabon, where they lost to Cameroon in the final.

And Taribo believes that the Egyptians’ over-reliance on their star man Mohammed Salah might hurt them at home.

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He said, “The advantage for Egypt is that they are playing at home, so they will have a lot of support and encouragement.

“Secondly, Salah is currently one of the best players in the world. He has been consistent for some years now especially since moving to the English Premier League.

“I think Egypt will depend on him too much and his skills and creativity will come to play in helping them progress but in all, they are beatable. I think they are going to do well, but I don’t see them winning the trophy on home soil.”

 

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