Africa Cup of Nations match preview: Zambia v Nigeria

Collins Mbesuma was Zambia's goalscorer in their opening game against Ethiopia. Photo: PA

The pressure is on both defending champions Zambia and Nigeria ahead of their Group C clash in the African Nations Cup.

Both teams opened their campaigns with disappointing 1-1 draws, with Nigeria held by Burkino Faso and Zambia drawing with Ethiopia.

A late Alain Traore strike denied Nigeria victory in a game they were favoured to win easily, and the result led to a visit from the Nigeria Football Federation chiefs at the team's training camp.

NFF president Aminu Maigari told the players to move on and put their focus on Zambia.

"Football can be a cruel game sometimes, but you have to put the disappointment behind you and focus on your next game against Zambia," he said, as quoted by Kick Off Nigeria.

"The whole country has invested a lot in you and we are all behind you to see that you win your next game."

Captain Joseph Yobo has promised a response from the players.

"We know how disappointed Nigerians were at the result, and we have resolved to do our best to make up for it," he said.

However, coach Stephen Keshi has other problems, with Azubuike Egwuekwe and Gabriel Reuben reportedly suffering from chickenpox.

The pair have been quarantined from the rest of the squad.

Zambia's result against Ethiopia was just as disappointing, although there seems to be a more optimistic mood on their camp looking ahead, with coach Rene Harvard opening their training camp to reporters although not offering interviews.

Their only concern at present is a slight injury to playmaker Chisamba Lungu, who took a knock in the opening match, although he is expected to be available to face Nigeria.