Ivory Coast Vs Nigeria 17Hrs / Egypt vs Ghana: 20hrs
The tournament hosts are back in action in Group A of AFCON 2023 as the Ivory Coast take on Nigeria at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara today.
The Elephants impressed in their opening game against Guinea-Bissau, with goals from Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso handing them a 2-0 win.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ivory Coast avoid defeat throughout the group stage, with host nations of Afcon only having lost once in their last 38 group-stage games. The last time the tournament hosts lost at this stage was when Equatorial Guinea were beaten 1-0 by Zambia as joint-hosts in 2012.
Jean-Louis Gasset’s side are looking to win their first two games of an Afcon since 2013, and take on Nigeria today, who were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea in their first match.
Star striker Victor Osimhen equalised for the Super Eagles just 99 seconds after Iban Salvador had given Equatorial Guinea the lead, but despite recording an expected goals total of 3.52, José Peseiro’s men were unable to find a winner.
Osimhen had six shots, but finished the game with just a single goal to show for his efforts. The last time a Nigerian player had more shots in a single group stage game in the competition was Peter Odemwingie (seven) against Mozambique in January 2010.
This will be Ivory Coast and Nigeria’s seventh meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations. As things stand, they can’t be separated. Of their six games for far, they have won two each and drawn two, scoring five goals each.Their last Afcon meeting was in 2013. Nigeria won 2-1 in the quarter-finals and went on to lift the trophy.
The three previous meetings between Ivory Coast and Nigeria in the group stage of the tournament have produced only two goals (0-0 in 1980, 1-0 to Nigeria in 1990, 1-0 to Ivory Coast in 2008).
According to the Opta supercomputer, it should be a close game but Ivory Coast are predicted to clinch their passage to the last 16 with a win in 40.7% of pre-match simulations. Nigeria grabbed their first victory of AFCON 2023 in 32.8% of those, while the draw occurred 27.5% of the time.
Understandably after being the only team in Group A to win their first game, the tournament hosts are heavily fancied to advance, doing so in 96.7% of simulations at the time of writing, and winning the group 63.6% of the time.
Ivory Coast: Charles Folly, Yahia Fofana, Badra Ali Sangaré, Evan Ndicka, Wilfried Singo, Ousmane Diomande, Ismaël Diallo, Sèrge Aurier, Odilon Kossounou, Ghislain Konan, Willy-Arnaud Boly, Seko Fofana, Jean Seri, Franck Kessié, Idrissa Doumbia, Ibrahim Sangaré, Lazare Amani, Max Gradel, Jérémie Boga, Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakité, Jean-Philippe Krasso, Sébastien Haller, Jonathan Bamba, Christian Kouamé, Nicolas Pépé, Karim Konaté.
Coach: Jean-Louis Gasset
Nigeria: Olorunleke Ojo, Stanley Nwabali, Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Calvin Bassey, Bruno Onyemaechi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Alhassan Yusuf, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Umar Sadiq.
Coach: Jose Peseiro
Egypt and Ghana will both be looking to recover from disappointing starts when they clash in a heavyweight contest at the Africa Cup of Nations tonight.
Only a last-gasp Mohamed Salah penalty spared the Pharaohs’ blushes on opening weekend at AFCON and saved them from falling to a shock defeat by Group B minnows Mozambique in Abidjan.
Egypt had led after only 89 seconds thanks to Mostafa Mohamed, but two second-half goals in three minutes threatened to cause one of the biggest shocks in recent tournament memory before they were saved by a penalty call in the dying moments of stoppage time, the referee consulting the screen after VAR advice following a challenge on Mohamed before Liverpool superstar Salah crashed in his spot-kick off the post.
An even worse fate was to befall Ghana later that same Sunday evening, when they fell victim to a huge upset against Cape Verde.
Alexander Djiku’s equaliser looked to have the Black Stars back on track after they fell behind early, only for Garry Rodrigues to pop up with a deserved stoppage-time winner to take his team top of the group.
It was another dismal result for Ghana – who lost to debutants Comoros in Cameroon two years ago as they crashed out at the group stage – to pile more pressure on under-fire boss Chris Hughton, whom reports claimed was subsequently attacked by a fan at the team hotel, with Ghana later confirming it was a verbal altercation.
Other fixtures Guinea Bissau Vs Equatorial Guinea