Nigeria's player to watch, rising star and one that will be sorely missed at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Player To Watch: John Obi Mikel
Nigeria's fortunes will depend largely on John Obi Mikel's form. The Chelsea midfielder is back in the national team set-up after an extended absence for a variety of reasons. He will be expected to keep things ticking over in the middle of the park. Mikel is not much of a goal threat, having only scored three times for his country, but he more than makes up for that with his no-nonsense combative style and the tireless back-breaking shifts he puts in.
Rising Star: Victor Moses
Victor Moses had previously represented England at every level from Under-16 to Under-21, but switched allegiances to the country of his birth in November 2011. He went on to make his debut for the Super Eagles three months later against Rwanda. The 22-year-old has already scored a couple of important goals for Chelsea following his switch from Wigan in the off-season, and will be determined to make a similar contribution for Stephen Keshi's side in South Africa.
Sorely Missed: Peter Odemwingie
Two notable absentees from Keshi's 23-man AFCON squad are Taye Taiwo and Peter Odemwingie. AC Milan left-back Taiwo, who is currently on loan at Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv, has racked up 53 appearances for Nigeria since making his debut in 2004. It is Odemwingie whose omission came as a big surprise. After impressing for West Brom over the past 18 months, scoring 14 Premier League goals in that period, surely the Super Eagles could have done with a proven goal scorer of his calibre. The 31-year-old has also played 55 times for the Super Eagles, but will not get the chance to add to that in South Africa.