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Mikel Obi Predicts 2023 AFCON Finalists, Names Super Eagles’ Starman




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Former Super Eagles player, Mikel Obi has predicted that Nigeria and Ivory Coast are likely to meet in the final of the 2023 AFCON.

Mikel Obi hinted that if Ivory Coast manage to qualify for the 2023 AFCON final, the country is likely to win the tournament after losing to Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in the group stage.

Recall that ten-man Ivory Coast defeated Mali in the quarter-finals stage and are expected to defeat DR Congo in the semi-finals to stand a chance of qualifying for the final.

As for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Nigerian side knocked out Cameroon in the round of 16 and beat Angola in the quarter-finals to book themselves a place in the semis where they will face South Africa on February 7.

When Mikel Obi was asked whether Nigeria will face Ivory Coast in the 2023 AFCON final via The Obi One podcast, the former Chelsea midfielder said, “I think so. I was thinking about it the other day and I was thinking that we managed to beat them in the group stage and they were on the verge of leaving the tournament, and all of a sudden you know, they are back in it, and now.

“They have got a wind with them and now are playing prettily okay but not so well, but they have started to win games, and now if they can manage to get to the final, who knows?”

Meanwhile, Mikel Obi has noted that Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali has become the talk of the Nigerian team.

Stanley Nwabali was expected to be the backup goalkeeper to Francis Uzoho but ended up becoming Jose Peseiro’s favourite at the 2023 AFCON.

In five games, Nwabali has conceded just a goal and recorded four clean sheets which makes him one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.

“When you look through the whole team everybody has been absolutely superb, starting from the goalkeeper which is something I talked about before the tournament. I said one position we need to make sure we sort out is the goalkeeping position and we’ve managed to do that,” Mikel Obi said.

“He’s based in Africa and he’s managed to become the talk of the tournament, he’s become one of the favourites for the Nigerian fans. He’s put in very good performances.

“Before we scored the goal against Angola, there was a massive save that he made. If the ball went in, it would have been a different ball game.”