NIGERIA winger Victor Moses is expected to make his Africa Cup of Nations debut on Monday, having overcome a knock to take his place against Burkina Faso.
The 22-year-old is expected to start alongside Chelsea colleague John Obi Mikel in Nelspruit as the Super Eagles begin their campaign for a third title.
Captain Joseph Yobo is poised to equal Nwankwo Kanu’s record of six Nations Cup appearances for Nigeria.
Burkina Faso have gone 17 matches without a win in the Cup of Nations.
The team failed to win a point at the tournament in 2012, but with striker Aristide Bance fit to start there is an air of optimism around the squad.
The return to fitness of his strike-partner Alain Traore, after a heel injury, is a further boost for Burkina Faso although Monday’s game may come too soon for him.
Traore is seen as a key part of the squad, having scored a decisive stoppage-time goal to put them through at the expense of the Central African Republic.
Nigeria have had mixed results in the build-up to the tournament, drawing 1-1 with Catalonia, being held to a 0-0 draw by fellow qualifiers Cape Verde, beating Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 before easing to a 5-0 victory over Portuguese second division outfit Farense.
But having been among the dominant forces in African football a decade ago, the Group C match against Burkina Faso marks their return to the Nations Cup after missing out on the tournament a year ago.
Nigeria winger Victor Moses: “We have prepared well and, having missed the last tournament, wish to make Nigerians proud by the end of it.”
Burkina Faso striker Aristide Bance : “I believe we have learnt from past failures and have a realistic chance of getting out of the group.”