The biggest African Cup of Nations game to date comes this afternoon as the heavyweights of Group D face off in an intriguing match at Garoua.
All eyes will be on Mohamed Salah to see if the Egyptian talisman can transport his sensational form of Liverpool to the big tournament scene.
The pressure is on Salah to send his country back to a record-breaking eighth CAN triumph, with the Pharaohs – who won the competition three times in a row between 2006-10 – upset South Africa in the round of 16 at home in 2019.
But Egypt face a tough opening mission in the form of Nigeria, themselves triple African champions and third last time around.
However, Augustine Eguavoen’s team saw their offensive firepower in Cameroon greatly reduced by the absences of forwards Emmanuel Dennis, Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo.
Follow Nigeria vs Egypt LIVE with the Standard Sport blog below!
Salah doesn’t ask for ‘crazy stuff’ in Liverpool’s new contract
Mo Salah made headlines ahead of the CAN opener in Egypt due to an interview with GQ in which he discussed his demands for a new contract at Liverpool.
Reports suggest Salah is looking for a weekly salary worth more than £ 300,000 which would shatter the current salary structure at Anfield.
“I want to stay, but it’s not in my hands. It is in their hands. They know what I want. I’m not asking for crazy stuff, ”said Salah.
“The problem is when you ask for something and they show you that they can give you something (they should) because they appreciate what you’ve done for the club.
“I’ve been here since my fifth year now. I know the club very well. I love the fans. The fans love me.
“But with the administration, they have (been) informed of the situation. It is in their hands.
Prediction Nigeria vs Egypt
This is the tournament’s draw so far between the two teams who will expect to feature in the later stages.
Having Salah in their ranks is obviously a huge boost for Egypt, but their supporting cast – not a patch on what he’s used to at Liverpool – will have to step up steadily if he is to show his best form at the Cameroon.
The absences of Dennis, Osimhen and Ighalo are a blow to Nigeria, who may well struggle for the goals.
We want Egypt to launch its campaign with a declared victory.
Egypt team news
Egypt’s hopes of course rest mainly on Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah.
However, left-back Mohamed Hamdi has been excluded from the CAN due to a knee injury and promising young star Ibrahim Adel and goalkeeper Mohamed Abo-Gabal are among those who have tested positive for Covid-19 in preparation for the tournament.
Nigeria team news
Nigeria’s hopes of winning a fourth Africa Cup of Nations have been dashed by the absences of key strikers Emmanuel Dennis and Victor Osimhen, who remain at Watford and Napoli respectively.
Rangers’ Leon Balogun and Shehu Abdullahi of Omonia Nicosia have also retired from the 28-man squad of Augustine Eguavoen, Henry Onyekuru, Tyronne Ebuehi, Peter Olayinka and Semi Ajayi of West Brom were called up instead.
Nigeria also misses ex-Manchester United player Odion Ighalo, who was not allowed to leave Saudi club Al-Shabab while Jamilu Collins was signed.
How to watch Nigeria vs Egypt
TV channel: In the UK, the Nigeria vs Egypt game will be televised live on Sky Sports Premier League, Football and Main Event.
Direct: Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to watch the game online through the Sky Go website or app. Coverage is also available through the BBC website and iPlayer.
Welcome to the Nigeria vs Egypt LIVE coverage!
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of what promises to be a showdown between two Group D heavyweights at the Africa Cup of Nations.
No one would be surprised to see Egypt or Nigeria feature prominently in the later stages of this competition in Cameroon, with pressure on Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to offer his country a record-breaking eighth CAN title to ban the memories of that last shock. 16 home release in 2019.
They can imagine their chances of securing a first victory at Garoua, Nigeria’s offensive resources being exhausted by the absences of forwards Emmanuel Dennis, Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo.
Kick-off is 4:00 p.m. GMT, so stay tuned for match preparation, the latest squad news and live updates!