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2021 Africa Cup Of Nations

Nigeria v Angola – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Nigeria faces Angola in the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Friday.

Nigeria v Angola

Nigeria faces Angola in the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Friday. The Super Eagles are chasing a first crown since 2013 whilst Angola are placed 117th in the FIFA rankings but have won their last three matches in the tournament and are nine fixtures unbeaten overall.

Nigeria Form

The Super Eagles ended off AFCON qualifying by thrashing Sao Tome 6-0 at home back in September 2023. After a couple of friendlies, they began World Cup 2026 qualifying with a poor 1-1 home draw vs Lesotho. A 1-1 draw away to Zimbabwe followed as optimism for this tournament was relatively low.

They began by drawing 1-1 with Equatorial Guinea despite putting up a mammoth 3.52 xG and missing six ‘big chances. A strong 1-0 win followed over Ivory Coast with just 36% and playing a back five. Nigeria then beat Guinea-Bissau 1-0 with some rotation to their XI before comfortably beating Cameroon 2-0 in the round of 16.

Nigeria Team News

Coach Jose Peseiro has a major doubt over goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili. Francis Uzoho replaced him after 80 minutes against Cameroon and is set to start this match.

Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze are competing for one spot down the right wing. Alex Iwobi is expected to play as a genuine central midfielder in the side’s 5-2-3 slash 3-4-3 formation.

Nigeria Motivation

Nigeria are highly motivated to win this AFCON and will be boosted by how many of the top teams have been knocked out.

They will expect to dominate this match and have lots of possession, even though they’ve often ceded the ball in this tournament since moving to a back five.

Angola Form

Palancas Negras are currently unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions. They drew five successive matches coming into the AFCON including 0-0 away to Cape Verde and 0-0 away vs Mauritius in World Cup qualifiers. They began this tournament with a 1-1 draw vs Algeria as they limited their opponents to 0.86 xG.

A 3-2 win against Mauritania followed as they had 19 shots at goal, before beating Burkina Faso 2-0 despite being outshot 20-6 by the Burkinabe. Their last-16 match brought a resounding 3-0 win over Namibia despite playing 23 first-half minutes with a man less.

Angola Team News

Goalkeeper Neblu is suspended for Angola after being red carded in the last round. Signori Antonio is set to replace him between the sticks. Bruno Paz was dropped in midfield for the last match and could remain on the bench.

Jonathan Buatu is expected to get the nod in central defence over Joaquim Balanga. The latter played well against Burkina Faso but was left out against Namibia.

Angola Motivation

Angola have nothing to lose here. They’re the major underdogs but confidence is high and they’re hard to beat.

I expect them to sit back and play on transition against Nigeria. They only had 34% of the ball against Algeria but it worked for them.

Key Stats

Nigeria have won their last 3 matches to zero

Nigeria have scored 1 or fewer goals in 6 of their last 7 matches

Angola are unbeaten in 9 matches (six draws, 3 wins)

Angola have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 8 matches


This should be a good match to watch. You can’t rule out an Angola upset but Nigeria looks solid now since switching to a more defensive formation. I’m backing them to keep a clean sheet and to reach the semi-finals in 90 minutes.

Best Bet: Nigeria win (90 mins) at 1.66
Value Bet: Nigeria win to zero at 2.40
Goalscorer Tip: Victor Osimhen to score anytime at 2.10 or be the first scorer at 3.80
Correct Score: Nigeria 1-0 Angola at 4.50

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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