Following their brilliant win over an Egyptian side that boasted one of the world’s finest footballers in Mohamed Salah, the Super Eagles are the overwhelming favourites to sweep aside matchday two foes, Sudan.
There were several top performers for Nigeria in that pleasant win over the Pharaohs, and coach Augustine Eguavoen could be tempted to retain the starting eleven that played with such style and swagger on Tuesday.
You do not change a winning team, right?
But tournament football requires that a coach keeps his players fresh and motivated, and it will not be out of place to see Eguavoen reshuffle his pack and give playing time to others.
All these were considered when putting together the likely starters for the Eagles against Sudan later today.
Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper Maduka Okoye should continue in goal after making a crucial save and keeping his composure against Liverpool hero Salah.
At the heart of the defence, no change is expected as the centre-back pairing of Watford’s William Troost-Ekong and Leganes’ Kenneth Omeruo continue to develop the chemistry between them.
Both were impressive in caging Salah on matchday one.
The excellent Ola Aina and Zaidu Sanusi retain their starting shirts ahead of Tyronne Ebuehi and Jamilu Collins in the full-back roles.
In the middle of the park, Brentford’s Frank Onyeka may have to wait a while longer to make his Afcon debut as Wilfred Ndidi lineup beside the composed Joe Aribo.
Everton’s Alex Iwobi would be rearing to make his impact in Cameroon. Still, Moses Simon did so excellently against Egypt it would be unwise to keep him away from that left flank versus the Falcons of Jediane.
Kelechi Iheanacho produced the moment of quality in Garoua four days ago, and he should slot back into that hole behind the central striker.
A change is, however, expected on the Super Eagles’ left flank, where Samuel Chukwueze had a subdued game against Egypt.
Captain Ahmed Musa could get the not ahead of the Villarreal ace as his pace and ball delivery into the box could be crucial to unlocking Sudan, who are likely to switch on their all-man defence mode against the Eagles.
After a display full of vigour and energy on his Afcon debut, Taiwo Awoniyi is assured of another starting shirt on Saturday.
Eagles’ probable lineup against Sudan:
Okoye; Aina, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Sanusi; Ndidi, Aribo; Musa, Iheanacho, Simon; Awoniyi.