Nigeria v Burkina Faso - AFCON Final preview

A look ahead to Sunday's match

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The Independent Football

Sunday sees Nigeria take on Burkina Faso in the final of the African Cup of Nations in Johannesburg.

Those watching will be hoping for a more exciting game than last year's final which failed to produce a goal in over 120 minutes of playing time, although ended with the drama of unfancied Zambia shocking favourites Ivory Coast in a penalty shootout.

When: 18:00 GMT - Soccer City, Soweto (Live on ITV4)

The teams...

Nigeria - The Super Eagles go into the match as clear favourites having twice been crowned African champions with wins in 1980 and 1994. It is however their first appearance in a final since 2000 when they lost to Cameroon.

Burkina Faso - Les Etalons are clear underdogs for Sunday's game which marks their first appearance in a final. Previously their best in the tournament was reaching the semi-finals in 1998 when they were tournament hosts.

Route to the final...

Both sides were drawn in Group C meeting in their first group match, a game that Burkina Faso managed to draw with the last kick of the game. The group was a closely fought affair with Nigeria eventually having to settle for the runner-up spot on goal difference.

Burkina Faso then went on to beat Togo 1-0 in extra time before winning a thrilling penalty shootout against Ghana in the semi-final in a game that ended 1-1 after extra time.

Nigeria meanwhile overcame pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast 2-1 before comfortably dispatching Mali 4-1 in their semi-final.

One to watch...

Nigeria: John Obi Mikel - A candidate for player of the tournament, the Chelsea midfielder has been hugely impressive so far in South Africa. Providing a series of mature performances, he has provided a calming influence in the middle of the pitch which has allowed Nigeria's more free-flowing, attacking players to flourish.

Burkina Faso: Jonathan Pitroipa - having had his controversial semi-final dismissal overturned, the winger will want to make the most of his second chance and will be hoping to repeat his goal-scoring heroics from the quarter-finals - particularly with Les Etalons' top scorer Alain Traoré out injured.


To win: Nigeria - 2, Burkina Faso - 3.8

First goalscorer: Emmanuel Emenike 5.5, Ikechukwu Uche 6, Ideye Aide Brown 6.5, Ahmed Musa 7, Victor Moses 7.5, Moumouni Dagano, 8, Sunday Mba 8.5, Hugues Wilfried Dah 9, Jonathan Pitroipa 9