AFCON 2019 - Group B Preview

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Mitch Freeley

You can watch every game from the 2019 AFCON via beIN CONNECT

With the AFCON coming up in a few days, we have decided to look at every team taking part in the tournament. Today, we are looking at Group B which has debutants Burundi and Madagascar alongside Guinea and three-time winners Nigeria. You can watch every game at the 2019 AFCON via beIN CONNECT

 

Burundi
Nickname – The Swallows
Best Performance- Debutants

Head Coach - Olivier Niyungeko

Burundian boss Olivier Niyungeko has been in charge of the national team since 2016, after winning the league with Flambeau de l'Est FC. The 48 old manager defied the odds sealing progression to a first-ever AFCON getting the better of Gabon to finish second in qualification group C. Now in their first ever major tournament can the central African nation pull off an upset in Egypt?

Key Man - Saido Berahino

Burundi captain will have a point to prove when he walks out his team in Egypt in the summer. The Stoke City player has been derided at various times during his career for various off-field antics. Now, playing at his first major tournament the 25-year-old captain has the opportunity to turn things around and become a hero for his national side in the process. 

Fixtures

Nigeria  Vs  Burundi  –  6/22/19 –  20:00 – beIN CONNECT
Madagascar Vs Burundi – 6/27/19 – 17:30 – beIN CONNECT
Burundi  Vs Guinea – 6/30/19 – 19:00 - beIN CONNECT

Guinea
Nickname - Syli Nationale (National Elephants)
Best Performance- Runners-up (1976)

Head Coach - Paul Put

Belgian boss Paul Put has managed across the continent taking in stints with the Gambia, Burkina Faso & Kenya before joining Guinea in March 2019. Having helped Guinea top qualification group H ahead of the Ivory Coast, Put will now focus on trying to get his side into the knockout stages. 

Key Man - Amadou Diawara

With Guinea sweating on the fitness of star man Naby Keita, 21-year-old Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara could be the main beneficiary. Having had limited opportunities at Napoli, the tough-tackling midfielder has shown glimpses of his talent, an could yet have a decisive role to play as Guinea look to lift a first-ever Cup of Nations.

Fixtures 

Guinea  Vs Madagascar  –  6/22/19 –  23:00 – beIN CONNECT
Nigeria  Vs  Guinea  – 6/26/19 – 17:30 – beIN CONNECT
Burundi  Vs Guinea – 6/30/19 – 19:00 - beIN CONNECT
 

Madagascar
Nickname – Barea
Best Performance - Debutants

Head Coach – Nicolas Dupis

French-born coach Nicolas Dupis will head into his first ever international tournament, after defeating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in October to finish second in qualification Group A and book a first-ever appearance at the AFCON. Prior to his role with Madagascar, Dupis managerial career was with French lower league side AS Yzeure, the highlight of which was defeating Lorient in the 2013-14 Coupe de France. After leading his side to the AFCON, it was confirmed that Dupis will take up a role as technical director with FC Fleury 91 whilst extending his contract with Madagascar. 

Key Man - Njiva Rakotoharimalala

Having scored the decisive goal to qualify Barea to Egypt, midfielder Njiva Rakotoharimalala was hailed as a hero in his homeland. The 26-Year-old plies his trade in the Thai Premier League with Sukhothai and has scored 11 goals in 28 appearances so far this season. Rakotoharimalala should be a starter in Egypt and fans will be hoping he can deliver another magic moment for his country on the biggest stage of them all. 

Fixtures

Guinea Vs  Madagascar – 6/22/19 –  23:00 – beIN CONNECT
Madagascar Vs Burundi – 6/27/19 – 17:30 – beIN CONNECT
Madagascar Vs Nigeria – 6/30/19 – 19:00 - beIN CONNECT

 

Nigeria
Nickname – Super Eagles
Best Performance – Winners (3)  1980, 1994, 2013

Head Coach - Gernot Rohr

The veteran German tactician is no stranger to AFCON having managed four African sides in a career spanning nearly three decades. Rohr took charge of Nigeria in 2016 and guided the Super Eagles to the 2018 World Cup. Unfortunately, he was unable to guide his side out of a group which included Argentina and eventual finalists Croatia. Still, the early signs were there that the talented group of youngsters assembled by Rohr could make an impact in Egypt. Destiny awaits for the Super Eagles. 

Key Man – Alex Iwobi

Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi will play a crucial role if Nigeria is to lift the Cup of nations for the first time since 2013. The 23-year-old has impressed for the Gunners for periods this season, being largely used as an impact substitute. Iwobi has strong links to the national team, with Uncle Jay Jay Okocha representing the Super Eagles on 73 occasions. 

Fixtures

Nigeria  Vs  Burundi –  6/22/19 –  20:00 – beIN CONNECT
Nigeria  Vs  Guinea  – 6/26/19 – 17:30 – beIN CONNECT
Madagascar Vs Nigeria – 6/30/19 – 19:00 - beIN CONNECT