Nigeria v Ivory Coast: Match preview, what to expect, confirmed team news, key players, venue, kickoff time

Published: February 10, 2024
Nigeria v Ivory Coast: Match preview, what to expect, confirmed team news, key players, venue, kickoff time

The Super Eagles will face Ivory Coast in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday night.


It would be the second meeting between the two nations in the competition with Nigeria getting the better of the host country on matchday two of the group stage.

The two West African sides have five AFCON titles between them, the Elephants being the latest winner having lifted the trophy in 2015 while the Super Eagles last won in 2013.


Match preview


The two sides are no strangers, having faced each other 28 times previously- both countries winning 9 times apiece and drawing on 10 occasions.

While José Peseiro and Emerse Faé have played down being favorites, Nigeria are slight favorite heading into the game.

They have beaten the host previously, are yet to be beaten by any opposition, and have a tight defense who have conceded the least number of goals in the tournament.

What to expect 


There should be no change from how the Super Eagles have played so far which has brought them success.


Therefore, they are expected to continue with their 3-4-3 shape, maintain a low block, and create chances from counter-attacks and set pieces.

Ranked 4th for possession in the competition, Ivory Coast should dominate the game and create a lot of shots creating actions as they have averaged 13.2 shots per game, which is the 5th best.

The Elephants will try to threaten the pace of their wingers when Nigeria's fullbacks bump forward and will also attempt a good number of crosses with Sébastien Haller set likely to lead the attack.

With stakes high and the fact that both sides have twenty yellow cards between them, there could be a lot of tackles flying around.

Just like when they met earlier on in the tournament, this should be a very close encounter that could drag into penalty shootouts.


Confirmed team news


Porto defender Zaidu Sanusi will return to Nigeria's matchday squad provided he comes through the final training session unscathed. He sat out the win against South Africa in the semifinals due to injury. 


Key players


1. William Troost-Ekong(Nigeria): The 30-year-old is expected to play a key role for the Super Eagles. His leadership, communication, and well-reading of the game have to be at their best yet again if they are to lift the trophy for the fourth time.


2. Ademola Lookman(Nigeria): The Atalanta forward was disappointing against South Africa but will still be the three-time African champions player to watch in attack, having scored 3 goals in the tournament.


3. Sébastien Haller(Ivory Coast): The Borussia Dortmund striker started a game for the first time against DR Congo and scored the only goal of the game. He will be the focal point of the Elephants' attack and could be the man to lead his country to glory.

4. Franck Kessié(Ivory Coast): The former Barcelona man will play a vital role if the host country are to lift their third-ever AFCON title.

Venue and kickoff time


The match will be staged at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé and will kick off at 2100, Nigeria




Abdulkareem Abdulhamid





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