The build-up to Nigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations conflict against Guinea was loaded with drama.
Players refused to face the media and appeared late for preparing due to not being paid a portion of the cash they had been promised.
Officials later said that the matter had been resolved. The money owed to players was for daily allowances and for their win against Burundi.
Yet, there is some good news for the Super Eagles.
Samuel Kalu, who crumbled during preparing a week ago because of extreme lack of dehydration, is completely fit to play in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations game against Guinea, mentor Gernot Rohr affirmed.
“The very good news is that Kalu did again yesterday in Cairo an MRI and it is now 100% sure that he is fit and he will be available for the game,” he said.
“He already started training with the team so we are happy about that because everybody was a little bit scared when this happened.”
The Bordeaux player was hurried to hospital Friday suffering from severe dehydration due to severe heat. Temperatures expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month in Egypt.
He missed Nigeria’s 1-0 win upon Burundi on Saturday in the opening match in Group B in Alexandria
Guinea, in the interim, will be reinforced by the arrival of Naby Keita.
Hurt during the primary leg of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-showdown with Barcelona, Keita spent nearly two months out before making his comeback in the final 30 minutes of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with a plucky Madagascar.
“He gives a lot, he’s a leader in his own way. We need him. He helps us benefit from his experience in big matches. It’s a bonus to have him,” forward Sory Kaba, scorer of the first goal against Madagascar, told AFP.
Guinea drew 2-2 against Madagascar. While still top picks to progress from their group, not losing is as significant as a success.
Prediction, head-to-head and TV stream
It’s a tight call. Nigeria’s likelihood of winning is hit into half. The draw is at 31% while Guinea have an insignificant 19% shot of winning.
The different sides have met 17 times. Nigeria have won five and Guinea have won five. The seven other matches ended in a draw. Their most recent meeting was in 2011. That ended in a 2-2 draw.
Where and what time to watch
Kick off is at 16:30 SAST.
In Africa, SuperSport 4 and 10 will broadcast the match and the opening ceremony.
Elsewhere: Eurosport Player (UK) and beIN Sports Connect (U.S.).