Egypt vs Nigeria

Nigeria striker Kanu has played down rumours of a rift in their camp ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash against Egypt on Tuesday.

Veteran Kanu insists there has been no row with coach Shaibu Amodu, but he is set to be dropped for Obafemi Martins.

Defending champions Egypt are weakened with Mido, Amr Zaki and Mohamed Aboutricka all absent from the squad.

Zaki and Aboutricka are injured, while Mido failed to convince Egypt coach Hassan Shehata of his match fitness.

Egyptian captain Ahmed Hassan is not expecting an easy ride against the two-time Cup of Nations champions.

“Nigeria are a strong team,” said Hassan. “But we are now familiar with all African teams.”

Meanwhile, Kanu insists that rumours of disharmony in the Nigeria camp are “lies” designed to “destabilise the team”.

“That coach is the one who selects the team,” he said. “If we have our opinion as players, it is just to make suggestions, and not to question him or his decisions.”

Coach Amodu added: “This match will go a long way in putting things right for us.

“The Egyptians, as defending champions, will come out smoking but we will match them grit for grit.”

Nigeria defender Danny Shittu expects Egypt to provide a stern test after the Pharoahs failed to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa in the summer.

“They will be really disappointed about that,” said Shittu. “I know they would have gone into this tournament wanting to win it.

“We are not even seeing this as preparation for the World Cup, we are seeing it as a tournament we are going in to win.”



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