Mikel Obi has tipped the Super Eagles for glory at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed for Cote d’Ivoire next year.
The Nigerian and Chelsea legend made the remark after the Super Eagles were drawn in Group A of the biennial continental competition alongside hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.
“Of course, we are always the favourites,” the former midfielder, who won the competition in 2023, said at the draw ceremony in the Ivorian city of Abidjan, Thursday.
“We are in a tough group, but of course, when we come to this tournament, we’re always favorites,” Mikel added.
“There are a lot of tough teams here but Nigeria is always [favourites]. Aren’t we?”
Read Also: Coroner Summons Naira Marley, Sam Larry And Primeboy Over Mohbad’s Death
Nigeria last claimed the competition in 2013 when they defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in South Africa. Since then, the team has only managed a third-place finish in the 2019 edition held in Egypt.
They were knocked out in the round of 16 in the last tournament hosted by neighbours Cameroon, one of the country’s poorest outings in the continental football fiesta.
Following the disappointment of the ouster, the Super Eagles also failed to make the cut for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, losing the ticket to perennial rivals Ghana.
But they will aim to bounce back from those shocking losses and have already started that journey as they finished top of their qualification lot for the 2023 AFCON.
Twenty-four teams are to feature in the Cote d’Ivoire tournament with two nations from each group automatically making it to the next phase while four third-placed sides will join them for the knockouts.
Aside from Nigeria, the defending champions Senegal are in Group C with continental heavyweights Cameroon, Guinea, and Gambia.
Group E contains what many have described as the “Group of Death”. 2004 winners, Tunisia, take on Mali, South Africa, and Namibia there.
Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique make up Group B while Group D comprises Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Angola.