Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cote d’Ivoire Vs Nigeria: 2023 AFCON Match Preview

The Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé is set to witness a clash of titans as Cote d’Ivoire faces Nigeria in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group A match on Thursday. Here is a preview of the match.

MATCH PREVIEW

Both teams are aiming to secure a spot in the knockout stages, with Cote d’Ivoire riding high on their opening-day victory and Nigeria looking to bounce back from a disappointing 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea.

Cote d’Ivoire started their AFCON campaign on a positive note, securing a comfortable 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau. Goals from Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso propelled Les Elephants to a confident win.

Under the guidance of coach Jean-Louis Gasset, the Elephant’s are on a seven-game unbeaten streak, including the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

On the other hand, Nigeria, three-time African champions, is under pressure after a 1-1 draw in their opening match against Equatorial Guinea.

Victor Osimhen’s equalizer salvaged a point, but the Super Eagles need a win to avoid the risk of a first group-stage exit since 1982. Portuguese head coach Jose Peseiro faces scrutiny as Nigeria has gone four matches without a win in recent competitions.

Recent Form:

Ivory Coast:

  • Last 5 Matches (All Competitions): DDWWWW
  • AFCON Form: Won (1-0 vs Guinea-Bissau)

Nigeria:

  • Last 5 Matches (All Competitions): DWDDLD
  • AFCON Form: Draw (1-1 vs Equatorial Guinea)

Key Insights:

  • Ivory Coast aims for successive wins in their opening two games, a feat not achieved since 2013.
  • Nigeria draws inspiration from their 2013 AFCON encounter, where they secured a 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals en route to winning the title.
  • Sebastian Haller’s availability for Ivory Coast remains uncertain due to an ankle injury.
  • Alhassan Yusuf is ruled out for Nigeria, potentially paving the way for Southampton’s Joe Aribo in the midfield.

Possible Starting Lineups: Cote d’Ivoire:

  • Formation: 4-3-3
  • Possible Starting XI: Y. Fofana; Singo, Diomande, Ndicka, Konan; Kessie, Sangare, S. Fofana; Boga, Krasso, Bamba

Nigeria:

  • Formation: 4-3- 3
  • Possible Starting XI: Nwabili; Aina, Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Sanusi; Onyeka, Aribo, Iwobi; Simon, Lookman, Osimhen

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