Nigeria will take on an unpredictable Angola side in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Friday as they bid to reach the last four for the first time since 2019.
The clash at the Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan is the opening fixture of the AFCON last eight.
the Super Eagles dispatched arch rivals Cameroon 2-0 at the same venue in the round of 16 to reach the quarter-finals.
As three-time AFCON winners, Nigeria are expected to have too much quality and experience for their opponents on paper.
Victor Osimhen, recently crowned African Player of the Year, leads a Super Eagles attack along with the in-form Ademola Lookman. They also boast the meanest defence, having conceded just once.
However, Angola will be full of confidence after surprisingly topping Group D unbeaten. This is their first quarter-final since hosting the 2010 tournament.
Led by star striker Gelson Dala, who netted twice against Namibia, Angola have one of the most potent attacks at AFCON 2023 with nine goals in four games.
Dala has warned Nigeria: “We will fight and make life hard for them. With our fans, we believe we can win.”
Angola coach Pedro Gonçalves added: “We respect Nigeria but fear nobody. The pressure is on them as favourites.”
Nigeria boss Jose Peseiro expects a tough test: “Angola are unpredictable with some very dangerous players. We cannot underestimate them.”
This AFCON has been full of surprises, and another could be in store on Friday if revitalised Angola can defy the odds and giants Nigeria.
The kick-off for Nigeria vs. Angola is scheduled for 17:00 GMT.