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AFCON 2023 Round of 16 Preview: Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea

Angola and Nigeria are the first team to book their tickets to the quarterfinals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and Sunday will see four more teams make their bids to join them. Equatorial Guinea and Guinea will clash first on Sunday coming off different results to complete their group stage campaigns with the Nzalang Nacional shocking hosts Ivory Coast while Guinea fell to defending champions Senegal. Read all about both teams in our preview below:

Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea- 17:00 GMT

Equatorial Guinea

Central midfielders José Machín and Pablo Ganet can unlock the Guinean defense with their long range shooting and passing abilities

Equatorial Guinea stunned Ivory Coast with a lopsided 4-0 victory and now Juan Micha’s side turn their attention to equaling their result at the 2021 AFCON. Most surprising is the attack for the Nzalang who have tallied nine times at the ongoing edition led by tournament leading scorer Emilio Nsue with five strikes. Micha made sure to downplay any expectations by declaring his team’s intent to focus on each match as it comes and not to get ahead of themselves.

In addition to good scoring form, having the Best Goalkeeper of the group stage also helps! Jesús Owono announced himself at the 2021 edition and is certified difference maker in African national team football with excellent reflexes and high ability on penalty kicks which could become a factor. The defensive line in front of Owono is well established with Saúl Coco and Esteban Obiang in the center and fullbacks Carlos Akapo (right flank) and Basilio Ndong (left flank) are comfortably contributing to the attack as well as the defense.

Club Africain midfielder Federico Bikoro is a pure defensive midfielder partnered by technically accomplished player Pablo Ganet, whose free kick goal put Ivory Coast away. Italian-based playmaker José Machín will be flanked by wingers Iban Edú and Josete Miranda, both of whom continue to be a factor in scoring goals as well as providing service to clever finisher Nsue.

Guinea

Guinea striker Serhou Guirassy made his return from injury against Senegal and will look to provide the scoring edge for the Syli National in the knockout stages

Guinea qualified as one of the best third placed teams from Group C but the performances of the Syli National is showing signs of decline. A talented side who declared their intention to make a deep run, this team is not quite there yet but hope to improve with the return from injury of striker Serhou Guirassy. Head coach Kaba Diawara has moved on from the group stage and emphasized tactics as the issue he and his team are working on for the knockout stages.

Stuttgart player Guirassy is in high demand among top European clubs and now is his opportunity to thrive at the highest stage of African football. In support of the powerful striker will certainly be Aguibou Camara who can be utilized in a variety of attacking roles, most likely as a central withdrawn forward. However, Camara was used on the right wing last match in place of Morgan Guilavogui who made way to facilitate the return of Guinean legend Naby Keïta as a central presence. Sekou Sylla and starlet Facinet Conte have both been used on the left wing and it will be interesting to see what approach Diawara decides to go with.

In defense, Ibrahim Koné is a capable goalkeeper behind an experienced central defensive pairing of Julian Jeanvier and Valencia player Mouctar Diakhaby, both rested against Senegal to avoid the possibility of yellow card suspensions. Issiaga Sylla, second on the list of appearances all-time for Guinea, is a reliable left back and either veteran Antoine Conte or young Stade Reims player Ibrahim Diakité will feature on the right flank. Amadou Diawara and Ilaix Moriba are excellent midfielders who will protect the defensive line and provide accurate passing to their attacking teammates.

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